Why 2 - You CAN Help Save These Communities if You Wish
As I stated for over a year, and on the other page, if you wish to step up and help save these community sites, you are very much welcomed to do so.
If you have the time, skills, and resources (I was fortunate enough to have the time, the finances, hardware, and the technology skill set to pull
off such a large one-man operation), you are most welcomed to step up and help save the sites/communities of your choosing. Feel free to contact me,
and we'll see what can be done.
Why 2, Details
If you wanted more detailed reasons for the decision to shut down all these sites/communities, here is more information for those that care or are
just curious. This is not a plea for sympathy as one ignorant individual claimed, this is just an attempt to set the record straight in the face of
false information being propagated by folks who hadn't any idea what they were talking about.
1. Deteriorating personal health. The recurring lung illnesses, combined with the nasty medications' side effects, have severely lessened my ability
to handle as many projects as I did in the past. In and of itself this has been a challenge, but manageable, if it were not for the other variables
as listed below.
2. Lack of volunteers' follow-through. Some volunteers did step up and help take over some of the community sites, such as the 2600 and Other Minds
Magazine websites, for example. A number of volunteers from the other various communities in each project offered to help, but when I've been down
due to health reasons, none have had enough initiative to follow through if I don't keep reminding them, as a typical volunteer coordinator generally
needs to do. If not for the health issues, maybe I could have kept them following through, but after the issues #3 & #4 it hsa become more than I am
up to any more. Repeated calls over the past year and half, for a volunteer coordinator or others to help, received many replies, but unreliable
follow through alas. I blame myself most of all for this, I used to be able to keep all the troops rallied, but with the health and medication
issues, have not been up to the task. One site alone had over 18,000 registered users, and at its peak a 1.5+ million unique visitors per month. Not
the largest community site, but a respectible site, and a lot for one person to maintain. The health issues would normally just mean the sites would
not get updated very much, but it is not reason enough to shut anything down. The final variables #3 and #4 have pushed things over the edge alas.
3. The final straws that are breaking the proverbial camel's back, legislation passed and going into effect from the past 4 years, including but not
limited to; Obamacare, is well on the way to bankruptng me. Prior to the "Obamacare" Public Law 111-148 monstrosity *, I have done fairly well just
having very high deductible insurance (typically around $10,000 to $20,000 USD deductible, and just pay out of pocket. Prior to the shoving of HMO's
down everyone's throats over the decades, this was a model that most Americans expected and lived well with. This is still generally the model for
their cars, homes, etc. Have insurance for unexpected issues to keep from being ruined financially, but take care of maintenance and minor issues
from a normal budget plan (though this is shifting too). Generally, all the doctors would offer a very significantly reduced rate (anywherefrom 1/3rd
less, to 3/4ths their normal rates (typically about 1/2) for medical services. This has not been the case for medications, but that's another issue.
This greatly reduced rate from the medical providers meant it was much more affordable to have and only use insurance for what it was originally
intended, catastrophic expenses that would otherwise wipe my family out financially, and meanwhile take personal responsbility for the medical care
and needs of the family with an annual budget set aside for their usual care (dentist, physicals, illnesses, injuries, even minor operations) paying
cash, working out a payment plan, or using credit cards in punch. Usually the medical agencies were more than happy to get to avoid the hassle of
trying to collect insurance payments.
This has all changed with the passing of the ironically named PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). First of all, the insurance
companies quickly cranked up their premiums for high deductible coverage, so the premiums increased by 300%-500%+. Then, as everyone waded through
the regulations, companies and consumers realized that consumers will still pay a federal penalty/tax if they don't have the minimum required health
coverage, forcing the insurance companies to completely eliminate the very high deductible policies. The new lower "high deductible" coverage plans
are still anywhere from 3x to 10x the premiums I was paying before, and there are only a handful of companies even offering higher deductible
policies (only abut 5-10k deductible at most).
Worse yet, now all the doctors offices are also no longer offering discounts for paying cash as they did before.
This, coinciding with my recent health issues, has become a serious issue, that may potentially ruin my family's financial future that was relatively
For more than a decade I worked 60-80 hours per week in various fields (automotive, education, photography, labor, medical, etc.). Then for over 8
years I worked 90-120 hours per week in the technology industry.
4. The final nail in the coffin, the successful brain washing of people to buy into the class warfare stories. Since 2003 my family's income become
based entirely on returns from investments and retirement funds. Fortunately very well diversified, it has weathered the economic downturn well, but
the upcoming threatened legislation will make it impossible to continue to provide for my family. This is all creating a setup attempting to force
me, and my family to turn to the government programs to survive, and related to the medical industry the progressive's clearly stated ultimate goal
of a government single payer system (by crashing the current system as they are successfully doing).
The increases in taxes on the "wealthy". My income falls just within the bracket that will have a huge tax increase, but because it is at the bottom
end of that spectrum, will be the most harmful. This happening at the same time I'm getting the huge increases in health care costs. If the threats
of the current administration are followed through with, and I am not very, very, careful, my family will be transitioned from the "wealthy"
category, to the completely destitute category in just a few years.
I refuse to turn to the government programs to save me (though I will put my children on whatever programs if necessary for their well-being). It is
possibly coming down to my having to make an ultimately morbid decision if the situation throughout the nation and global as it seems likely, since
none of the fundamentals have actually been fixed globally. My family will actually benefit financially if the illness does me in quickly, rather
than allowing it to consume all our financial reserves. I hope it will not come to that, but if current trends continue, and if my health doesn't
turn around, it may come down to such a morbid choice.
Until very recently, I have been extremely active donating my time, energy, resources, and finances helping donate to many different communities
locally, and around the world (Deaf and Hard of Hearing community, various disabled, immigrant groups, youth groups, EFF (Electronic Frontier
Foundation), open source communities, many community websites, and plenty of free technology and business consulting for many beginning and growing
companies, etc. The new administration is forcing me to no longer be able to donate funds, hosting services (increasing overwhelming Internet
regulations and harrassment by government agencies), or time to the many worthy causes in the world. In speaking with others, I am by no means the
only person being forced into such a situation. But due to the successful class warfare brainwashing, folks do not realize how huge a ripple effect
these legislative policies are going to cause.
I hope that I am wrong about the future of the country (and the global future as well), but until I can see even a glimmer of realistic viability
that things are going to get better, I have no choice but to choose to protect my family first, and unfortunately one of those steps includes having
to shut down most of the community sites.
* The Obamacare bill that actually passed was initially 900+ pages, with 425,000+ words (it was an earlier version of the bill that had the 2,400
page listing). The related documents are now over 5,000 pages, 2.1+ MILLION words and growing from all the legislation needed to actually deliver and
enforce the law.
Page last updated: November 21,2012