I (Heart) Barney Frank
Bravo Barney Frank! I'm so glad someone in leadership had the chutzpah to talk back to these racist, incendiary protesters. It's unconscionable that this type of rhetoric is being displayed, along with guns and ammo, at meetings where community members are ostensibly there to discuss the details of health care reform and how it will impact their lives. Thank you Barney Frank for calling a spade a spade.
Now, if only the POTUS and his White House staff would do the same. Quit trying to be reasonable with the playground bully. Don't argue with furniture. We voted in a majority and we want that majority to deliver!
Two Things Mr. President
An Open Letter to President Obama:
I sent you more money than I could afford last year because I believed in what you would bring to the table: health care reform and an end to two unnecessary wars. And up until today, I've given you the benefit of the doubt. I've waited, trusting your political instinct. But today, I recognize the democratic party of old--push-overs and pansies, unwilling to step up to the plate and swing. Perhaps, cynically, this has been the plan all along. Fight just long enough against the pharma giants and insurance companies to make it look like you gave it the old college try, but really you just cut a deal from the beginning and that was all she wrote. I would hate to think that's true; but there are many voices out there that I trust that are proposing just such a scenario.
Perhaps it's more like Afghanistan--a monster you thought needed to be fed but then it grew beyond even your grounded and even-handed policies to predict.
You didn't campaign for insurance reform--you campaigned and promised to deliver comprehensive health care reform, which must have a public option in order to actually be reform. My friend has insurance and still she owed $15,000 for her cancer treatments! My parents have Medicare as well as private insurance to cover their medicines, and they still pay $2000 out of pocket each month for medicines and at-home health care providers.
Single-payer was never part of the discussion, so there was no bargaining chip from the beginning. Now you and your health secretary intimate that even the public option, weak as it was, is probably off the table. I know you are a good man. I know you believe in what you're doing. But if the public option is off the table, you've wasted your political capital on something that will have your name on it that won't work at best and at worst will make things all that much easier to 'blame' on big government. The people you're 'compromising' with have one agenda--to kill real reform. And some of them even cynically want to kill every progressive move that's been made by our federal government over the past 70 years: social security, medicare, and medicaid. We are a great country. But we are a flawed country. And until we can look the rest of the developed world in the eye and affirm that health care is not a privilege of the wealthy or the employed, we don't deserve to be known as the 'home of the free'.
Now to the war in Afghanistan. At first I believed your counter-insurgency efforts might finally give us a chance. But after reading that the Afghan war lords would chop off the finger of any woman with an ink stain, showing they had voted, I thought to myself, why are we fighting for and in a country that hates women?!?!!! How can we continue to defend our interests in a country that so despises 50% of its population that it would throw acid in the faces of its own children? That would kill the mothers of their own children? Our men and women are dying for that?
Get Out! and Get out now! Don't let it become your Vietnam. We don't belong there; we never did. After 9/11 a lot of Americans believed that it was a transformative experience--a time to call for peace rather than retaliation. Instead of taking that chance, our then president said, "go shopping" and then proceeded to start two wars--both unnecessary and unwanted.
Fight for what we really need right now--comprehensive health care reform. Otherwise, the inspiring campaign you led; and the transformative figure you are; the light that you've brought to us all will be blown out--if it isn't already.
Thank you for listening Mr. President,
Sat Purkh Kaur Khalsa
aka Chiara C. Huddleston
Espanola, New Mexico
Oh happy day
My deadlines approach along with my birthday, so I'm not having a good time, yet. But I plan to soak and sing and eat on the actual day of my birthday--so that should help to alleviate any stress I've accumulated over the past few days leading up to the big day--the day I am officially in my 40s. There's no turning back now.
And sometimes it seems there's no moving forward. Yogi Bhajan often used to talk about the importance of hope. That we actually needed it in order to fuel the present, empower the now. My life, however, remains the same. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I woke up on the right side of the grass, today. And I hope to continue for the foreseeable future. But still, there seems to be very little momentum. Perhaps because most of my adult life I've been fueled by love--or fantasies of it anyway--and nothing of that remains. Brief hints and the inner knowing that I'm finally ready, unfortunately, mean nothing in the face of destiny--and it seems that mine is to be spent without those comforts that others take for granted.
A friend said to me the other day, "everyone has their own cross to bear." And mine is pretty light compared to hunger or mental illness or war or any number of tragedies that make up human existence. No real problems--only the illusory ones of my own mind: unmet desire and unfulfilled potential. So the task is to once again, change my mind, generate my own happiness, and serve the good.
So yes, it will be a happy day when it comes. And life is good, even when we don't feel so good ourselves.
Happy birthday to me....blessed be.