With hurricanes and earthquakes hitting parts of our world, many aren’t aware of the dangerous wildfires in the US. Currently, fires are ravaging Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Montana, and Colorado. You can get daily updates here.
I grew up in Oregon and have family all along the west coast and northwest. It’s scary to see what these fires are doing, especially with the lack of rain. Thankfully, it’s rained a bit over the last week or so. The fires rage on, though.
If you can help, please check out the following organizations and crowdfunding projects:
- California Fire Foundation
- Chelan Valley Hope (WA)
- Community Foundation of Kittitas County (WA)
- Community Foundation of North Central Washington
- Downey Volunteer Fire District Injured Fire Fighter Fund (ID)
- Eagle Creek Fire Restoration Fund (OR)
- Friends of the Columbia Gorge (OR)
- Garfield County Fire Foundation Relief Fund (MT)
- Helena Wildfire Relief (CA)
- Help Colorado Now
- Help Montana’s Wildfire Disaster
- Help Rebuild Oregon After Wildfires
- Lolo Peak Fire (MT)
- Montana Wildfire Relief
- Multnomah County Animal Services (OR)
- Oregon Trail Fundraiser
- Room One (WA)
- Thank You Gorge Fire Crews (OR)
- Wenatchee Valley Humane Society (WA)
- Wildland Firefighter Foundation (ID)
There are additionally fires in Canada that affected First Nations tribes like Ashcroft earlier this year.
I posted this earlier in the week on my other site, Not Standing Still’s Disease, but wanted to repost here.
Not only do we have to fight to protect the ADA, we still have to fight for healthcare.
I’m starting to worry that this is going to be every fucking quarter, but I digress.
You can read the 141-paged plan (referred to as Cassidy-Graham, Graham-Cassidy, Graham-Cassidy-Heller, and Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson) but here’s the scoop on what this bill would do:
- Eliminates subsidies for private insurance
- Ends Medicaid expansion
- Caps Medicaid money, leaving millions of people uninsured
- Allows waivers to charge sick/ill/disabled patients more (fucking high-risk pools)
- Stops requirements on ACA-required benefits
- Repeals tax credits for middle class
- Puts up barriers to health insurance for low-income people (and removes subsidies)
Cassidy and others have said this block grant program would simply give money to the states for them to decide. It’s essentially shifting ACA-type stuff to states rights type stuff, acting as though states could then keep ACA programs in place. Without the support at the federal level – and with a large number of anti-ACA governors – this won’t be the case.
One scary thing to note is that the Congressional Budget Office won’t have enough time to evaluate the bill before September 30th. This is the last day this bill could be passed with 50 votes (or 51 with VPence). Otherwise, filibuster could prevent the bill from being passed.
|Source: Andy Slavitt’s Twitter; see alt-text for description|
This is a more radical version of repeal-and-replace efforts so far.
I’m tired of fighting, so I’m sure you are, too. If we don’t fight this one, though, we lose any progress we’ve made up to now.
What to do now:
- Contact your Senators (especially if you live in South Carolina, Louisiana, Nevada, or Wisconsin)
- Protest and picket (if able)
- Get loud on social media
- Follow Andy Slavitt on Twitter for updates
- Use tags like #savetheACA
- Send letters to the editors or reach out to your local news to explain your concerns
Some organizations opposed to this bill:
- ALS Association
- America’s Essential Hospitals
- American Academy of Family Physicians
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- American Cancer Society Action Network
- American College of Physicians
- American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)
- American Diabetes Association
- American Heart Association
- American Lung Association
- American Osteopathic Association
- American Psychiatric Association
- Arthritis Foundation
- Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
- Family Voices
- Los Angeles LGBT Center
- Lutheran Services America
- March of Dimes
- National Health Council
- National Multiple Sclerosis Society
- National Organization for Rare Diseases
- Planned Parenthood
- Volunteers of America
- Cassidy-Graham: The last GOP health plan left standing, explained
- Cassidy-Graham Plan’s Damaging Cuts to Health Care Funding Would Grow Dramatically in 2027
- Cassidy-Graham’s Waiver Authority Would Gut Protections for People with Pre-Existing Conditions
- Cassidy-Graham Would Deeply Cut and Drastically Redistribute Health Coverage Funding Among States
- Graham, Cassidy unveil last-ditch Obamacare repeal bill
- How Cassidy-Graham brings back preexisting conditions
- Like Other ACA Repeal Bills, Cassidy-Graham Plan Would Add Millions to Uninsured, Destabilize Individual Market
- March of Dimes, American Heart Association oppose new Senate repeal-and-replace bill
- McCain backs Graham-Cassidy ObamaCare repeal effort
- Republicans wind up one last Hail Mary to repeal Obamacare
- The GOP’s last-ditch Obamacare repeal bill may be the worst one yet
- The Graham-Cassidy Bill: A Last-Ditch GOP Effort To Deprive Millions Of Health Care
I know that so many of us have been focused on recovery post-hurricanes. Right now, though, Mexico also needs our help.
Brigada de Rescate Topos (website currently down) goes into fallen buildings to help get people – dead or alive – out. You can send them money via PayPal using the email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can buy goods from Amazon for the Mexican Red Cross’ wishlist.
Project Paz, a non-profit with roots in NYC and El Paso, TX, is collecting donations to help with recovery efforts.
Direct Relief is working in the area.
Salma Hayek is raising money for UNICEF’s relief efforts.
- ’17 Mexico Earthquake Relief
- #BeyondWalls Help Model Citizen Fund Relief Effort in Mexico (DJ Carnage)
- Help Mexico’s rescue activities for the earthquake
- Mexico City Earthquake Relief for Pets
- Mexico earthquake recovery fund
- Mexico Earthquake Relief
- Oaxaca earthquake relief
- Oaxaca needs your help!
- Relief Fund for Mexico Earthquakes
- SDA Earthquake Relief Fund – Puebla
- Solidaridad Por Oaxaca
- TOPOS: Mexico’s Earthquake Rescuers
- #YoXMexico (Javier Hernández, Miguel Layún, and others)
I realize the featured photo looks so happy. I got to visit Mexico earlier this year and took this beautiful photo right before leaving. My family has always had strong ties to Mexico, and these earthquakes break my heart.
Updated September 22
I’ve always been intrigued by BDSM and kink. I recently wrote a post about how the scene can bring useful things to anyone, especially in illness spaces. Naturally, when I attended the University of Guelph Sexuality Conference back in June, I hung out in their BDSM exploratorium.
The exploratorium was a very safe and respectful space, open to newbies and advanced kinksters to learn more about various kinds of play. It was great to be able to test out things, figure out what I was interested in, and talk with others about how my chronic pain might change things up.
I tried low-temp wax play and decided it wasn’t for me. Next, I had the same reaction with electrical play/e-stim, though I think that’s because of how much I utilize my TENS unit. I watched some rope play and hands-only impact play (punching, spanking, etc). Both were interesting to observe and I definitely want to do more with rope play in the future.
One station was set up for sensation play. It was so interesting. Scratchy, soft, leather, rough, hard, hands – we played with a wide variety of sensations on my forearms. Aside from being pleasurable, it was cool to be so present in my body for a positive reason.
The station I enjoyed the most was set up for impact play using instruments like floggers and paddles. My first go in the room, I spent time watching and observing. The second time, though, I offered to be a tester.
I got hit with a paddle, whip, flogger, and canes. During the negotiation process, I agreed to be hit just about anywhere, but the focus was on my back, butt, hips, and thighs. I had a few good bruises that lasted for a few weeks.
At one point, the person flogging me heard me go “Oooh!” My favorite thing is that they checked in, as did others watching, to make sure that was a good reaction – and it was.
After the event was over, I noticed that my pain was gone. I figured it would come back later in the day… but it didn’t. Now, I live with chronic pain, so it’s not that I was completely pain-free. However, the pain in my shoulders and neck was gone. It stayed that way for about a week despite a 15-hour drive back home.
Even after, though, my fibromyalgia pain was gone. I had been dealing with a fibro flare up for around a year – probably more – and it was finally gone. My rheumatologist and I had tried a bunch of stuff to get it to leave, but everything was basically a temporary solution.
Hell, even acupuncture – which worked at first – had lost efficacy.
It’s been just over two months since then. Despite the fact that I’m struggling to get adequate pain control and medical care for other things, my fibro is still cleared up. I have moments where it acts up more, but without a full flare – and mostly without the allodynia that was taking over my life.
I mentioned it to my rheumatologist at our latest appointment and she was ecstatic. When I told her how, she was really intrigued. We believe that, somehow, the BDSM play helped to rejigger the pain messages my body was sending. Researchers believe that mixed up pain signals are what fibro essentially is, after all.
In fact, ORCHIDS is going to do some research on BDSM and chronic pain to see what we can find! Stay tuned!
I can’t say that this will work for other people. What I can say is that I wish I had tried it a lot sooner instead of dealing with untreated pain.
If you’re interested in exploring BDSM tools more, I highly suggest checking out the collection Peepshow Toys has. SheVibe has some great stuff, too. In addition to being affiliates of ours, their shops are also just amazing.
This post is a part of the Kinky Sex Tips Blogfest ’17 run by Mona Darling. Mona is a former dominatrix who does sexual coaching for women. Make sure you check out her site because she’s running an amazing giveaway associated with these posts right now that includes coaching and great gifts!
Can you believe our pals at Vibrant are officially a year old now? I can’t!
Save 25% on everything from right now until 11:59 pm Mountain Time on Sunday night if you use the code SURPRISE1. Click here to browse.
You can save 45% off the Ola Vibrator using VIP45.
As always, you can save 10% with the code CHRONICSEX. This is not applicable for use with other coupon codes, though.