this week i

finished up two reports about the medicare advantage marketplace, on enrollment and special needs plans.

would need about eight earths if everyone lived like me.  societies crumble about once in a lifetime and we're past due.

read the collection of essays, abraham lincoln and the second american revolution.  a fresh perspective on the stakes..

this republic was a fragile experiment in a world of kings, emperors, tyrants, and theories of aristocracy.  if secession were allowed to would set a fatal precedent by which the minority could secede whenever it did not like what the majority stood for, until the united states fragmented into a dozen pitiful, squabbling countries

..and the outcome.

the united states went to war in 1861 to preserve the union; it emerged from war in 1865 having created a nation.  before 1861 the two words "united states" were generally used as a plural noun: "united states" are a republic."  after 1865 the united states became a singular noun.

in 1860 the south's share of national wealth was 30 percent; in 1870 it was only 12 percent.

abraham lincoln played a crucial role in the historic shift of emphasis from negative to positive liberty.

negative liberty..can be described as freedom from.  positive liberty can best be understood as freedom to...freedom of the press is generally viewed as a negative liberty-freedom from interference with what a writer writes or a reader reads.  but an illiterate person suffers from a denial of positive liberty; he is unable to enjoy the freedom to write or read whatever he pleases, not because some authority prevents him from doing so, but because he cannot read or write anything.

revolutions never go backward