Posts Tagged Personal

Reflecting…..And Looking Forward…..

New Year 2010 - in Jewels Royalty Free Stock Photo

Okay, the year–make that the decade–is over, and a new one has started.

2009 was a remarkable year, indeed…

We witnessed the historic inauguration of Barack Obama, and we are hopeful that 2010 will show him to be just a bit more assertive in pursuing his and our goals…

We barely avoided a global economic collapse, by bailing out banks, Wall Street, the auto industry–but people are still suffering…

Another year went by, yet again, largely ignoring the human suffering of an entire continent—Africa…

We saw two parties in Washington…  One without a purpose—Republicans; one without a spine—Democrats… Doing what?  Nobody knows…

We witnessed a drawn out fight over health care reform legislation.  While not perfect, it is a great and historic achievement, nevertheless…and a basis to hopefully build and improve on in the future…

We saw ignorance on public display:  People disrupting health care town halls in August, others questioning President Obama’s birth certificate to this day…and most of all the instigators at  FOX  “NEWS”…a sad sight indeed.

We saw hate mongers like Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh…whose sole purpose seems to be to make tons of money by spewing hatred…

…and  DICK Cheney…well, his first name says it all…

We saw a pilot landing a plane on the Hudson River, saving all passengers’ lives… and the balloon boy family keeping law enforcement and cable TV stations breathless for a day–in order to get a reality show…

We saw people too numerous to mention, trying to cash in on their three minutes of infamy, yet again…

We saw icons of their respective fields passing…Walter Cronkite, Ted Kennedy, Michael Jackson, Patrick Swayze, Farrah Fawcett…and many others whose names we may or may not know, but whose lives were just as important…

So, as this new decade begins, I am thinking about this little Christmas story…

One of my massage clients has made it a tradition to give back to charities during the Christmas Season.  So, among others, he made out one of the checks to a national charity which had helped his family on occasion, when he was growing up.  On Christmas Eve, he took it to the local office, but it was closed.  As he walked back to his car, wondering what to do, he passed by a local homeless shelter.  He walked in and ended up endorsing the check to the very happy staff there.  As he walked back out, he saw a group of homeless people gathered in front of the building.  Without thinking twice, he took the $600 (all in $20 bills) he had previously gotten—as emergency money over the holidays—and handed it out to the people.  He ended up with $20 left in his pocket.  It was a very happy Christmas for him, indeed…

Now, not everybody is in the fortunate situation my client is in, but what I am trying to say is, if we would do whatever little things we can, to make somebody else’s life better, for a moment, a day, or a lifetime…this coming decade could be the best one, yet…for everybody…  🙂

Wishing You Happiness And Good Health
And A New Year Of Dreams Come True…

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Senator Ted Kennedy — ‘The Liberal Lion’

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Senator Ted Kennedy —  A true champion of workers’ rights, civil rights, the poor and health care…  Thank You!  Job well done!

Every American alive today, and even people in other countries, has been touched by Ted Kennedy in more than one way, most likely without realizing it.

His more than four decades in the US Senate were consumed by tirelessly working on improving the lives of working people, the less fortunate, minorities, women, children–in good Kennedy tradition.  Everybody who couldn’t advocate for himself, found a friend in Teddy Kennedy.

AN  ADVOCATE  FOR  ALL !!!

From increasing the minimum wage, to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program  (SCHIP), the Family Leave Act, Anti-Apartheid legislation…  His legislative accomplishments are too numerous to mention.  His fingerprints are on every single bill aimed at making people’s lives better.  Because of his success and political skill, he often became the lightning rod for the ultra-conservatives. However, he was willing to work with conservative senators on bills aimed at the same goal, like Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, on SCHIP.  Many of them count Teddy Kennedy as a great friend.  He was a big LIBERAL and proud of it!  But he didn’t let that get in the way of seeking common ground, even with people he vehemently disagreed with.

THE  GREATEST  LEGISLATOR  OF  OUR  TIME !!!

His most ambitious goal however, establishing Universal Health Care in America, has eluded him, since first introducing it about forty years ago.  With his passing at this critical juncture in history, just short of what hopefully will be meaningful health care reform, that goal becomes that much more important.

Here’s the battle cry going out to all Democrats:

1.  Go it alone on health care reform with the best bill possible.  NO RETREAT !!!  Republicans have proven themselves irrelevant and are not interested in reform.

2.  Make it count–It has to be MEANINGFUL reform, actually benefiting people and improving their current situation.

3.  Build on it in the future!

4.  Put Ted Kennedy’s name on the bill…  But ONLY if the final bill deserves it!

Do it for

THE  SOUL  OF  THE  DEMOCRATIC  PARTY !!!   DO  IT  FOR  TEDDY !!!

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FOX “NEWS” — Merchant of Hate

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We have one TV Network in America dedicated solely to spreading hatred, reinforcing people’s prejudices, and keeping them dumb and uninformed, hence, easier to misguide and mislead.

F O X   ” N E W S “

From crazy morning show hosts, to the hate mongers like Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity at night, and everything in between, it is a sad picture, indeed.

Just for fun and entertainment purposes, I used to listen in for a few minutes from time to time–to get a good laugh, or shake my head in disbelief at such an onslaught of stupidity.  But I’ve reached a point now, where I can’t listen to those crazy rants at all anymore.  Not even for a few minutes.

I’m going out on a limb now, but if we would take a survey of the nutjob wing of the Republican party, assembling right now at health care town halls, or questioning the authenticity of President Obama’s birth certificate, or just spewing racist hatred in general, we would find out that their main “news” source  (maybe the only one)  is

F O X   ” N E W S “

A recent study showed that people who predominately watch  FOX  “NEWS”  are the least informed compared to all others, especially those who get their news from a variety of sources.  Heck, a large chunk of them still believes, we have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.  SCARY !!!

While we can blame people for their decision to remain uninformed and ignorant, we also have to realize that it’s the

“MERCHANTS  OF  HATE”

who are really at fault here.  They are the instigators.  They know darn well what they are doing.  Doing it for entertainment value, ratings, or for million dollar salaries–the bottom line is the same–you knowingly spread lies, misinformation and hatred, thereby inciting violence.  And you certainly can’t wash the blood off your hands when one of the crazies listening to your constant hateful diatribes, goes out and commits violent acts… as happened before…

Now my question is…

HOW  IN  THE  WORLD  CAN  YOU  SLEEP  AT  NIGHT ???

There’s a very special place reserved for people like you….

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Memo To Ms. Betty

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Ms. Betty, you look like a nice grandma baking cookies with your grandchildren, but then we saw you recently all over TV, holding up a sign comparing President Obama to Adolf Hitler, and shouting some ugly things at one of the town hall meetings about health care.  How can a little old lady be so mean, hateful and ….. ignorant?

When looking at your angry face, I suddenly realized that I had seen you before. Twice.  The first time at a McCain/Palin rally during the run-up to the last election, shouting ugly racist slogans, and then, just recently, at another town hall meeting, questioning the authenticity of President Obama’s birth certificate.  You certainly do seem to get around.  I wonder who’s paying for all these trips?

Anyway, the rest of your fellow Americans, the vast majority, looks at you and your cohort with a little bewilderment.  And we’re thinking, it may be more important, to overhaul our education system, instead of our health care system, with so many uneducated, uninformed and ignorant citizens out there.

Calling somebody a Nazi or comparing him to Hitler has been used in history to justify violent speech and acts against that person, or people sympathizing with him.  Is that really what you are propagating here?

Every time changes are being proposed, there are legitimate questions that should be addressed.  But that’s not really what you’re interested in here, is it?  Your talking points, provided to you by Republican operatives and the insurance companies, specifically call for shutting down debate on that issue, by disrupting town hall meetings and threatening others who are of another opinion.  By the way, this tactic was employed by Nazis to shut down dissent…  Just some food for thought…

Anyway, I thought you might want to know how the 90% of your fellow citizens are looking at this very sad chapter in humanity playing out right now on cable TV. And we’re asking the question, whether you’re really so concerned about health care (after all, you look like you’re being covered by Medicare–a Government-run program), or if there is indeed a deeper, much more sinister issue at play here. What is it that’s really disturbing you so much, Ms. Betty?

Could it just simply be the fact that we have a  BLACK  PRESIDENT ???  🙂

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Health Care Reform? YOU WILL DIE !!!

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This is the face of a survivor.

A survivor of the  ‘socialist health care system,’  so often maligned by Republicans and their corporate sponsors, the insurance industry.

In my case, being from Germany, that system is actually a combination of private insurers and government provided health care, something that President Obama seems to be looking to provide.  While every country uses a different system, a lot of them, like the Canadian, British and Scandinavian, are completely provided by the government.  They all have a few things in common:

1.  Every industrialized nation, except America, treats health care as a human right, not a commodity, a for-profit business.

2.  Every citizen, no matter where they find themselves in their lives–working, unemployed, self-employed, child, student, stay-at-home mom/dad, retired… is covered in one way or another.  That’s another way of saying, there are no uninsured people.

3.  You can’t get turned down because of  pre-existing conditions.

4.  Using the system is either free, or involves minimal costs, even for people visiting the country, as it happened to me one year, having to get a tetanus shot, while vacationing in London.

5.  Nobody goes bankrupt over medical bills.

Naturally, no system is perfect, and there’s always room for improvement.  But I go out on a limb now, that you’d be hard-pressed to find anybody who is familiar with the health care system in other countries, to prefer the American system–as we have it today–, unless they are dishonest.

On a lighter side…  I remember receiving a Christmas card from my German aunt the year I came over to the States. Out of all the things she possibly could have been worried about, she wished me  ‘Merry Christmas’ … and the very next sentence read  ‘We are so worried about you being over there with the terrible health care system they have.’  Just some food for thought…

An honorable mention goes out to the rent-a-thug mob being bussed around to disrupt town hall meetings right now, verbally and physically assaulting congress people holding these meetings to explain the changes to the public.  This mob rule is brought to you, once again, courtesy of Republican millionaire sponsors and their backers, the insurance industry.

Why are they so worried?  It’s easy…

1.  It will cut into the insurance industry’s profits.  That’s why Republicans are being paid by/bribed by the insurance industry to do their bidding.  And don’t forget…

2.  It’s politics!  Republicans know very well, if we get meaningful health care reform, actually benefiting people, under a Democratic president, they will find themselves in the political wilderness for a long time to come.  After all, they haven’t forgotten recent history…  That was the fate of the Republican party during and after FDR’s presidency, when a lot of the very successful social programs were enacted.  So they have to do everything in their power to stop that from happening…  Never mind the people!

When asked at a recent town hall meeting, how many of the people disrupting that event, had insurance, including Medicare, the majority of these thugs raised their hands.  Now I’m wondering if they realize that according to their own talking points provided to them, their days may be numbered, as  ‘people will die in the streets’ if we have a public option.  After all…

Medicare is a program run by–you guessed it–the  GOVERNMENT !!!   🙂

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Barack Obama And The Nutty ‘Birthers’

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Have you ever wondered what a certified lunatic looks like?  Well, I’m sure they come in all shapes and sizes.  I met one such person yesterday.  Turned out, he was a middle-aged, chubby redneck.  What a surprise!  🙂

When sitting at a stop light, a pick-up truck drew my attention.  Instead of a gun rack, he sported a huge homemade sign, wood frame and all, with the question:

WHERE  IS
OBAMA’S
BIRTH CERTIFICATE?

No telling, how many hours went into the manufacturing of that sign.  Somebody ought to give the guy a video game, so he can spend the obvious time he has on his hands, more constructively.  When looking a little closer, I also noticed a confederate flag bumper sticker.  Now I’m wondering, if there could be a connection between those two things?  🙂

The nutjob wing of the Republican Party, instigated by the usual suspects,  FOX “NEWS,” Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, some loony congress people, Liz Cheney et al, has a new/old subject du jour.

They are trying to de-legitimize President Obama, by questioning the authenticity of his Hawaiian birth certificate, claiming that he indeed is not an American citizen, and therefore not eligible to run for, or hold the office of, President of the United States.  When listening to some of the garbage coming from those crazies, it almost sounds like they are painting Obama as an undocumented alien.

Here’s a news flash:  The American people decided the legitimacy of Barack Obama last November by making him PRESIDENT.  End of story!

Well, never mind the facts.  Who needs them anyway?  President Obama’s birth certificate is a legal document, issued by Hawaiian authorities, carrying the names of his parents.  The archives of the local Hawaiian paper show a birth announcement after his birth, and among other authorities, the Republican Governor of Hawaii has issued a statement, that President Obama’s documentation is indeed completely legitimate.

People who belong to this know-nothing fringe group don’t let inconvenient little facts like these get in the way of their mission, trying to de-legitimize Obama’s presidency.  After all, it gives them an opening to bring up all the issues, which really bother them…  his pigmentation, his Muslim middle name, and…  don’t forget…  on his birth certificate, there it is black on white:

Father – African,  Mother – Caucasian…

So, after all, we’re also talking about interracial sex here…  🙂

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Blood On Their Hands

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The Victim                                                 The Suspected Killer
Dr. George Tiller                                        Scott Roeder

Well, we’ve had an act of domestic terrorism.  Al-Qaeda sympathizers?  No, it was committed by somebody who is the prototype of what was described in a recent justice department memo as a right-wing extremist, lone wolf, dedicated to one single issue, in his case his opposition to abortion.

Scott Roeder assassinated Dr. George Tiller, who had been living with threats for many years, and had been the target of right-wing outrage again and again.  To top it, not only was he assassinated in cold blood, but it happened in the sanctity of his church!  What prompted all these targeted attacks, culminating now in his murder?  Dr. Tiller was a women’s health care provider, and as part of that, he performed abortions on women who sought them, including late-term abortions. Something, I want to emphasize, is legal in this country.  So his  ‘crime’  was not doing something illegal, but providing services to women who often are in dire straits when seeking an abortion.

It never fails to amaze me that the most ardent opponents to abortions seem to be older white males.  Here are my thoughts on that:  Unless they find themselves in a situation a lot of women find themselves in at some point in their lives, where they have to make a very personal and painful decision to have an abortion, usually after consulting with a doctor and her family, they have no right to tell women what they can and cannot do.  It is a myth that women take that decision lightly.  Very often, there are extreme circumstances leading a woman to have that procedure done.

We can certainly disagree on that issue, and there are good arguments on both sides of it, and I think President Obama said it best when stating, that we should do everything we possibly can to reduce the number of abortions, including better education about birth control, increasing the possibility of adoption, etc.  But what we cannot do, is trying to make our points using violence.  These extremists have already succeeded with their constant intimidation and violent behavior, that the vast majority of counties in the US has nobody who will perform these legal procedures.  So, a woman, who often doesn’t have a lot of means to begin with, faces the additional burden of having to travel to another location to have that procedure performed.

As a woman, I find it the height of insult when listening to these extremists, decrying especially the procedure referred to as  ‘late-term abortion.’  This procedure is only performed in very rare instances, usually for medical reasons or when the life of the mother is on the line.  As someone who knows a woman who had to go through the ordeal of making that decision, then having it performed, and afterwards having to live with it, it deeply insults me to listen to these zealots. My friend faced the reality of very possibly not surviving the pregnancy because of a medical condition, if carrying the child to term.  So, before people pass judgment on others, there’s some food for thought…

Special mention belongs to the prominent public figures of that movement who have over many years incited violence with their hateful diatribes, and this includes radio and TV personalities and right-wing Republicans.  The entire  FOX  “News” channel, especially the likes of Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, have helped lay the foundation for violent acts by crazies like this guy, by constantly harping on that particular issue in hate filled speech, mentioning Dr Tiller by name, and dubbing him  ‘Dr. Tiller, the Baby Killer.’

YOU  CAN  CERTAINLY  TRY  TO  WASH  YOUR  HANDS  OF  ANY  GUILT NOW,  BUT  YOU  HAVE  BLOOD  ON  YOUR   HANDS !!! 

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