Time to Fight for Health

August 25, 2009

My middle son starts Kindergarten this week. I wonder if my little boy will grow up in a Country that values his health more then they value a profit. I started to feel a little angry, at first at the GOP for their lies and slander and then at Democrats. Democrats like me. We should be at town halls yelling. We should be protesting, putting ads on TV. We want Universal health care with a public option then we need to wake up and get busy. We need to stop relying on congress to do the will of the people because it seems those who yell the loudest get the most. It’s time to start yelling!! We have become lazy, and content in our Victory last November but Democracy does not end on election day. We need to stay diligent and continue doing our part for the Change we voted for. I don’t want to have to look at my children and tell them that when the opportunity was given, we failed to execute. We failed to fight. So who’s with me?

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I have to admit that all the swine flu coverage has turned me into a slight hypocondriach. It’s allergy season here in Maryland and everytime I wake up with a sore throat there is a little hint of anxiety. Every little cough from one of the boys has me rushing to touch their skin to see if they feel warm, and then get a second opinon from my husband (who just rolls his eyes and tells me their fine). Is the media over hyping it? Anyone who watches the news knows the media tends to focus in and obsess on one story until the next one comes along. I am not normally made so jumpy by news coverage, a news junkie like me has to know better but a few weeks before the siwne flu started infiltrating our news and our nation, I attended a lecture entitled “The emergence and remergence of disease.” The presenter, a doctor for a governement agency spoke to a crowd of 100 or so about epidmics and pandemics. The biggest thing I took away from the lecture is that we are due for a global pandemic of some sort. It is not a matter of if but a matter of when.

The swine flu has already made it to my state, and to my county and in fact only a few miles away from my home. More recnently there have been reports of swine flu in the county I work in. It seems like it or not, swine flu is spreading and quickly. The fact that it seems mild and seems to pose no danger has prompted the CDC to change their guidelines. Schools will no longer be closed due to suspected or confirmed cases. So are we safe? Was this just an over reactive health professionals who have been watching out for the dreaded pandemic? An over reactive Governemnt? A crazy media frenzy? Or is it still a threat? Could this mild Swine Flu turn deadly?

According to the Washington post “In the world’s most devastating global flu epidemic in 1918, the first wave of cases in the spring were mild. Then, the virus evolved and came back in the fall as a strain that proved truly deadly, flu experts say. So scientists today are watching to see if that could happen again.”

I know most American’s are starting to become laxed over the Swine Flu, but I am holding my breath through flu season.

NOMFU

April 13, 2009

If you haven’t heard of NOM (National Organization for Marriage) and their plight to keep gays from marrying, well you may live in a cave. By the way can anyone tell me why same sex marriage would keep the doctor from practicing marriage?

I propose we start a new group. NOMFU National Organization for Marriage Fairness and Unity. (Plus its really fun to say NOM FU!) NOM is trying to get 2 million activists, I would love to beat them to the punch, and see equality, and fairness trump the evilness of discrimination and hate. So if anyone else would like to get involved and get NOMFU off the ground (Anyone tech savvy enough to start a website?) let me know. Let’s show the world, that we stand behind fairness and equality and shout NOM FU!!

*All quotes are from the Tax Day Tea Party website.

“So here we are in April 2009. Our country faces a crisis caused by the unstoppable greed of the Big Union and Big Corporate interests that sponsor most of the corrupt politicians who run Washington, D.C.”

The organizers don’t really care about the “Big Corporate” interests. If they did there would have been outcry from the GOP (which seems to be the biggest supporter of the Tea Party movement) over Halliburton, and the Bush Administrations close relationship with Big Oil. Now suddenly, when a Democrats in office, there is outrage over Big Corporations. Just remember that the GOP congressman (and woman) that are sponsoring this grass roots movement certainly have corporate ties that have generously donated to their campaigns.

“Those who prefer to live high off the hog of an extraordinarily large and intrusive federal government are doing everything they can right now to permanently cement into place government spending, procedures and policies that we will most likely never recover from.”

Permanently cement into place Government spending? I am pretty sure right now this administration is taking proactive (yes, I know, Government is normally reactive) action in fixing infrastructure, education, and health care that will save us an incredible amount of money in the end. Economists by and large fully support Government spending. There has only been debate on what that spending should be on, but there is no debate (except for the GOP, trying to get the rich richer) on if Government spending will help us out of a recession.

“You’ll pay for it. They’ll enjoy their federal government lifestyle.”

There not giving themselves raises, or buying lavish clothes, they are fixing problems that affect every American, to make our lives better.

Tying this event to the Boston Tea Party surely must make our founding fathers roll over in their graves. The purpose of the Boston Tea Party was to protest Taxation without Representation. We have Representation that WE as a country elected. We live in a democracy, where things like budgets are voted on.

Basically what this Tea Party is really about is a bunch of sore losers who are using people’s outrage about the abuses of Corporate America (which occurred due to deregulation, which happens to be a Republican principle). The GOP’s only proposal has been to INCREASE the tax cuts for the rich even further then they have been, putting more strain on the hard working middle class and have used every scare tactic they can think of about the Tax proposals from Obama; that will put the tax rate back as it was in the Clinton years. You know, when we finally got a sound economy and a budget surplus…but who wants that?

This Tea Party isn’t about the real hardworking Americans. It is not some bipartisan movement to give corporate America the middle finger. Don’t be fooled! It’s about the greed, and corruption of the GOP. Republicans, you have it wrong, that’s why the American people didn’t vote for you and if you keep pushing these principles and bad ideas, you are simply committing political suicide. Stop hating America and hoping for Obama’s failure, and stop manipulating middle America into believing your lies!

My husband made a comment the other day that made me chuckle.

“ *Bob has been listening to Rush. I told him ‘there’s your problem. Why would you listen to him? If anyone could understand politics, it should be you**…..because politics is just like professional wrestling. The results have been decided, it doesn’t matter who you vote for.”

While I don’t agree with the premise of that statement, it did make me think. Politics is a big show, Glitz and Glamor. There are ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guy’s, and we are all love a good match. We route for our favorites with passion and zealousness. A lot of the antics we see are well staged, written and plotted. It’s hard to say there isn’t an acting element to it. Plus, the smack talking…oh there is so much smack talking. So I guess, maybe politics is like professional wrestling. I don’t think the results are fixed, but there is definitely sometimes a lot more show than substance. Plus there are a few politicians that I would like to see get body slammed….

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent
** ‘Bob’ is a huge professional wrestling fan.

Fate or Free Will

April 9, 2009

I am a big fan of lost. Despite the crazy twists and turns, I have remained a dedicated fan. We get inspirations and ideas from weird places; today mine happens to come from a television show. The recent element of time travel has spawned all kinds of unanswerable questions that I have about life. Is there a grander plan? Are things ‘meant to be.’ Or is life just a series of random unrelated events. You hear all the time after someone dies that “It was their time” but was it? I don’t have an answer but these questions have always plagued the back of my mind. When things are going good in our lives, we take the credit. We are masters of our own destiny but the minute we are confronted with misfortune, mortality or devastation, we sooth ourselves with the idea that this is supposed to happen, it was meant to be. I’m undecided on the answer of fate versus free will. But when Ben was handed over to the others, was it a choice that Jake and Kate made, or was it their destiny? It makes me look back over the moments of my life, the choices I made and wonder if I really made them. It sounds silly but have you ever been able to connect the events in your life and see how each related to another to bring you where you are and wonder what would have happened if changed that one decision?
In my own version of how I think things should be, I do imagine a grander plan. Maybe it just sounds more poetic and beautiful then random events. It makes me feel more connected to the world, to people to think we are all on paths that have been selected for us, and that the people who intersect with ours, each have been brought to our lives to teach us something…about love, loss, laughter, pain and beauty.
Do you believe in fate or do we each make our own destiny?

The Crazy Extreme Right

April 8, 2009

I am becoming really disgusted with the extreme rights Rhetoric (especially Glenn Beck). I am reading blog after blog that accuses President Obama of being a socialist, or fascist. Where have these people been the past 8 years? Where was this out cry when President Bush purposefully and willfully manipulated the American people into a war with Iraq using faulty intelligence? Where were these voices when our Country stopped being the moral leader and started using torture? Or when the Bush administration used broad interpretations of the constitution to suit his agenda? Or was wiretapping the citizens of his own country?
Nothing, not a peep. But now there is outcry for things that haven’t even happened. There has been absolutely no talk about gun control (despite the fact that quite a few nut cases have decided to shoot up a bunch of public places) yet the right is holding their guns tight and seem to be the only ones having the argument. It’s like the crazy uncle who argues with himself. No one else is even talking about it. Just you! All of this talk of fascist control, socialism, communism (How can Obama be all three by the way??) They are rallying up the crazy, conspiracy theorist type. You know, the people who are out in states like Montana with full arsenals, complaining about Government control? These are the people that this PR campaign is aimed at and I for one am not only really angry but scared of what the consequences of the rhetoric can be. This is not healthy policy debate or difference of opinion, they sound like they are in all out revolutionary, civil war mode.
It is ironic to me the same arguments about the Government having too much control, and taking over our lives can be used to support gay marriage, legalization of drugs, and the woman’s right to choose. I wonder if that hypocrisy ever occurs to them. Oh wait, these things go against God. What the right really wants isn’t more freedom, isn’t capitalism, it’s a Theocracy.

Baracnophobia

April 8, 2009

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart M – Th 11p / 10c
Baracknophobia – Obey
comedycentral.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic Crisis Political Humor

It’s funny, but I am genuinely concerned about he sanity of the Republican party. We need at least a two party system but if they keep up their bat shit crazy antics….well, we won’t have to worry about a Republican party majority anytime soon.

Why Baltimore is Dangerous.

The prosecutors of Baltimore have their priorities completely mixed up. They are supposed to protect their citizens but it is apparent that they work for the criminals. The prosecution office is becoming infamous for not trying cases that should be tried and now apparently putting all their resources in a case that will have consequences all over the City.

For detail’s read this and this.

I will give you a quick synopsis. Two off duty police officers (Love and Herring) witness a man (Thomas) threatening the owners of a barber shop and they intervene. There was an altercation between the offices and Thomas (who as it turns out has a shady past. According to Thomas, he was beaten by the off duty officers (by the way, there was no evidence of any injury which conflicts with the story of brutality, which includes being hit with brass knuckles. The two off duty police officer’s are arrested for assault. I am not advocating violence, and I am certainly not for any type of police brutality, if it did indeed occur. However, even if it did, a simple misdemeanor assault charge has resulted in a 7 day trial. The prosecutions office is flying a witness in from Texas, paying his travel expenses and room and board. Why all this dedication to punish two police officers for a misdemeanor when this same kind of energy is lacking in homicide cases? I guess this is why Baltimore has a souring homicide and is the Mecca for Murder. It doesn’t matter what the arrest rate in Baltimore is, when the conviction rate and prosecution rate isn’t up to par. The prosecutions office is not protecting the citizens of Baltimore. What is the message they are sending to the public when they spend more resources on this then they do on career criminals? How will other off duty officers feel about interfering with a crime in progress?

A few years ago, I contemplated leaving my company and sent out my resume. I went on several interviews and even had a few offers but I learned something that I may not have been aware of before. Most of the companies that I interviewed with either had no health care or inadequate health care. I am lucky enough to have a good job, that offers great benefits but with the economy sinking, I wonder if that will last. Recently my company has frozen annual increases, dropped our 401 K match from 4 % to 2% and is now only offering tuition assistance up to $2,500 per year for each employee. I am waiting for another email that starts with “Due to these hard economic times, we have made the difficult decision….” letting us now that they will be decreasing our health benefits.
What would I do then? My husband owns a small, (and struggling) business, so all health benefits come from me. I couldn’t even imagine trying to receive benefits even close to what I have now on my own. It would be financially devastating.
A new CBS poll says that a majority of American’s would pay more taxes in order to get Universal health care. The soaring health care costs are growing several times faster than inflation and companies can no longer handle the burden. Smaller companies aren’t even bothering to offer them. The United States spends at least 40% more per capita on health care than any other industrialized country with universal health care. Yet despite all this extra money we spend on health care services the United States ranks 20th in life expectancy for woman, 21st in life expectancy for men, 23td in infant mortality, and we rank between 50 and 100 in immunizations!
If the majority of Americans say they want health care and are willing to put in the tax dollars then I think our congressional representatives should be listening and doing what the people want.
Also if anything I say didn’t convince you, this is interesting reading:
http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/82xx/doc8255/06-21-HealthCareReform.pdf