Sunday, August 30, 2009

So Impressed with Vicki Kennedy

I watched practically the whole funeral of Ted Kennedy, and also the brief remarks afterward at the Capitol. I just have to say what a class act Vicki Kennedy was. Despite the most stressful and saddest of circumstances...all in public view, she held up wonderfully. I don't know how she did it.
Ted Kennedy, Jr.'s speech, which is available on quite a few sites if you missed it, was also a big highlight for me. This family has been through so much. My thoughts are with them.

The Sunday Morning Muse, August 30, 2009

I was sitting in a restaurant looking out the window when a church van went past. It said Holy Covenant Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Quite a long name for a church. Took two lines on the van, an I'm not sure if I missed a word or two because it went by so fast.

I can't judge a church by it's name. Because the names are meaningless to me. I haven't taken a serious study of what Presbyterians believe versus Evangelicals, let alone Evangelical-Presbyterians. I don't know the difference between the Baptists and the Methodists. The Catholics change what they do so often it's hard to recognize the Catholics now-- as opposed to the old Latin masses of not so long ago, but I had a grasp on their views at one time.

The point in this muse, if there is one, is that I don't know of anyone else who knows the differences either. Oh, there may be a scholar out there, someone who put their own religious views in perspective by actively learning about other religions in a scholarly setting. And perhaps coming to terms with what they believe in that way. But it would be a lifetime task if you include the other religions, too, not just the Christian ones. I picture this silly graph with basic beliefs... and some perspective congregation member ticking off blocks...(mumbling) Yeah I believe this, no-- I don't believe that. This sounds good, this sounds hard to imagine, etc. Until... at the bottom, eureka! The person discovers they are a Presbyterian with methodist leaning tendencies, who likes Jewish customs, but can't give up pork.

Silly I know.

I read somewhere that most people just stick with what their parents taught them. Whatever family they were born into.... luck of the draw really, in terms of what they believe. When you think of it that way, it seems somewhat haphazard. I would think if your religion mattered that much to you, the fate of your very soul, that one would examine the options out there carefully to ensure the best possible outcome. This muse is probably to some extent an extension of when I was a kid and used to feel sorry for people in faraway places who didn't hear about Catholic teachings and would certainly not go to Heaven. We were taught the Catholic religion was the one true religion. Where would they go? I asked.

The point then was to just get The Word out somehow.... and one way was to raise money for the pagan babies. I never gave my change to the pagan babies but this is something the Catholic kids were told to do, fill up these little books with money, in order to name a pagan baby. (The money went to mission work, or perhaps a new Gargoyle for the Vatican, I was never sure.)

I don't fear the Pagans anymore. No one should. Many of the actual customs like the celebration of Easter and Christmas were actually copied from them. But they didn't teach that in Sunday School.

It pays to shop around.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ted Kennedy Dies

Here's Sen.Kennedy speaking about trying to get healthcare reformed passed during his career. So sad that he didn't live to see it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's About Time

Finally an elected official doesn't cower to these idiots.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Sunday Morning Muse, August 16, 2009

The old people are the ones getting screwed. And the campaign by the insurance companies which sponsor these so called astroturf groups (ready made mobs, in my opinion) and fire up the extremists is pulling the country's attention away from solving REAL PROBLEMS.

It's a sad commentary on our society when our most vulnerable people... The Greatest Generation, get their money taken by insurance companies who make assurances they will be taken care of, and then when they need care, they can't get it. Right here in the U S of A.

This is what these Town Hall meetings should be about. How to fix it that our parents and grandparents aren't falling for Medicare HMO scams, or being denied coverage by INSURANCE COMPANIES who are in this for money... for their stockholders.

Think this is a partisan thing? Left versus right... us versus them? Get your kicks in now. You will be old someday. I hope you have money. Or a good job. And that your health stays good enough so that you can KEEP YOUR JOB. You will need it. A lot of If's in this world. It would be nice to know the elderly are taken care of. Medicare went a long way toward this. And Republicans faught that too.

Wanna play games like Sarah Palin, and the GOP party leaders, and the right wing talk show hate mongers instead? Lie to people. Call Obama a racist, question his birth, accuse him of putting death panels into health care plans to kill old people? Sure it makes for good TV.

But you will be old someday. By then your heart may not be so good. Pre-existing condition? Forgetttabout it. No health care for you! No money to pay? Sell your house. Sell your kid's house. No... they'll need to keep that, because you will have to move in with them because you can't afford the hospital co pay, or nursing home anyway.

I am ranting lately about healthcare, not because I have a problem. I am fortunate. I have a plan through my job. But I have seen neighbors and friends truly suffer.... physically, financially, and
emotionally because they either couldn't get insurance at all, or they got scammed into one of those Medicare HMO's who promise cheap premiums and great service...and basically deny you care when you really need it. Telling you what doctor to go to, which hospital you can stay in, and make rules that are so obscure and impossible to comprehend, that it boggles the mind. And it all looks reasonable when they sell it to you, but when you NEED your health care, you have to jump through several hoops to even TALK to someone from the insurance company let alone resolve your problem. Time and time again this happens. People are going bankrupt over health care bills. People are not getting the medication they need.

But you will be old someday. You'll care then. And remember when we had a chance to do the right thing and how it got ugly. How people turned against each other rather than worked together.
Isn't it better that we start NOW and try to fix this broken system? Or are you willing to roll the dice and bet that you will never be denied a liver transplant, or your family will never be dropped from coverage because you lost your job and can't afford Cobra insurance?

Forget the imaginary Death panels, people. Life without health insurance is far more scary.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Sunday Morning Muse, August 9, 2009

Musing about a lot of things this morning. I saw some footage from Woodstock on TV since it is the 40 year anniversary. Everyone looked so young and dirty. And happy.
And stoned.

Nice to see Levon Helm still around and singing. He'll perform at the anniversary concert. Always loved The Band. Levon had his setbacks, and yet continues on... even has a new CD out.

Janis Joplin performed at Woodstock. Hard to imagine Janis in her mid 60s now, had she lived. Would she still be performing? Would she have worn a wig or grown long gray hair? Who knows. Aging tattoos on wrinkly skin is never a pretty thing, either. But Janis was never about "pretty." It was about the voice. Her soul.

I was at Walmart this morning. Lots of cheaply made Peace shirts, or ones with butterflies and little slogans on them. Little wispy 1960's type shirts, and embroidered-look jeans on the racks. Marketing Peace? Retro trends?

I can remember actually embroidering my own jeans. A Peace sign one pocket and a heart on the other. And I had a picture of Donovan and got this gooey Tee-shirt maker "transfer" medium to make my own shirt. He was backwards on it but it didn't matter. You could still recognize him. I loved it.
My friend Anthony gave me the Tee Shirt above. I never wore it, because I was afraid to wash it.
The past has a way of washing away.

You can't repeat the past. Recapture the magic.
You have to create your own.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I love Bill Clinton Edition

Isn't he just amazing? I am in awe of this whole thing with him flying to North Korea and coming home with those two women who have been kept there since March...sentenced to 12 years hard labor under that horribly repressive regime. YOU DID IT BILL!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Scaring Grandma Tactics are Evil

I watched this interview, and if you watch it too, pay attention to the body language
of the right wing talkshow host. The inappropriate smiling is always a clue. Like a seedy car salesman, twisting words and making up shit to scare you. Meanwhile, the Congressman expresses very appropriate emotions. He is clearly exasperated (aren't we all) with these wing nuts scaring people and saying things that have no basis in reality. (government encouraged euthanasia my ass! Representative Boner should be thrown out of the House for that remark. I think the AARP should picket his house and flood him with letters for scaring them, needlessly. I'm glad he is not in my party. Imbecile.

For the record, I don't have a living will yet, but when Dad was dying of cancer, he BEGGED us to get him one. He didn't want to linger, suffering, while people stuck tubes in him, when he had no quality of life. This is what we are talking about. And NO, the elderly can't just surf the net and fill one out, like this idiot talk show hosts claims people should do. They need to talk with THEIR DOCTOR and make decisions when they are able to comprehend their own condition, and determine for themselves what they want to do. And THAT IS WHAT THIS BILL DOES.

Sheesh. I can't stand it anymore. WAKE UP PEOPLE. Don't get your news from these flaming idiot talk show hosts. And pay no attention to the Boners and Virginia Foxx's who are doing their country a BIG disservice by their outright lies. Scaring seniors is wrong.

UPDATE: If you hear this crazy rumor about Page 425 of the Health care bill mandating counseling every 5 years to end your suffering... don't believe it.
Check it out at Snopes.

Put Up or Shut Up

Amen. Republicans were against Medicare 44 years ago. Hindsight is 20/20. I hope
it's there when I need it. And I hope that the 47 million people who do not have health care in this country and the countless people who are under-insured finally get covered. The Republicans, and some Democrats are so far in bed with the insurance industry that they fail to represent the people who elected them. They play smoke and mirrors and throw around "key" words and scare people. No, we are not "rationing" health care. No, bureaucrats are not coming between you and your doctor. But you know who *is* between you and your Doctor right now? Wall Street. The insurance companies are profit driven. They answer to Wall Street. Not you. It is in their best interest NOT to pay your claim.

We need CHANGE. Now.