Friday, August 28, 2009

From What I'm Told, God Forgives... Why Not You?

How long does one have to move beyond an incident before forgiveness is granted? Obviously the circumstances surrounding the rest of your existence will at least in part answer that. But assuming one lives decently and doesn’t do further harm when do you pass that threshold of forgiveness? How do those of you who hold a grudge reconcile holding that grudge for the rest of your life? Doesn’t that consume energy that might be better spent elsewhere?

When Ted Kennedy passed away this week, I posted on my Facebook page that I was mourning the loss of the last great Kennedy. I received a response that I had to be kidding. He should have been sharing a cell with OJ. OK, let’s think about this. When Teddy was a young man, he screwed up royally. He drove his car into a pond and someone wound up dead. A tragedy by any standard. He should have been held accountable. But there was money and political power behind him and he wound up with a slap on the wrist. That was 40 years ago. What has he done since? He dedicated his life to serving his country. He spoke out for the little guy. He was well respected on the Senate floor. I think he did his penance. How can you compare him to OJ? OJ murdered someone (OK, wink-wink…. allegedly….). What has OJ done since his wife and her companion were cut to pieces … wink-wink…. by some as yet undetermined scum sucking shit hole dweller? Why, he’s wound up committing another (oops… his first?) felony. How can you in any way compare him to Ted Kennedy?

Jane Fonda fucked up in her youth. She was against the Viet Nam war. She went to North Vietnam and palled around with the soldiers that were killing our young men. Wasn’t too bright a thing to do. But the Viet Nam war was even less popular than Iraq. There were protests (HUGE protests) occurring regularly all over the country. I’m guessing Jane was a probably looking for a little publicity. Well, she got it. She was, and remains, an activist. Sometimes activists get a little extreme. But it’s activists who helped get us out of Viet Nam, and pushed forward the civil rights movement, and campaigned for women’s rights, and made it hard to ignore countless other inequities in our system of governance and societal structure. And she has since apologized for what she did. And that too was 40 years ago. The woman is in her 70’s for crying out loud. When do we forgive her?

I think as individuals we need to look at some of our collective conscience and ask ourselves, as a nation, what the fuck are we thinking? You take a guy like Charles Manson. Now there’s a guy we don’t want to forgive. He’s as nuts today as he was when arrested. But Jane Fonda? Ted Kennedy? I ask you, if you were 20 something years old and screwed up like Teddy did, and your daddy had the money and the connections to keep you out of jail, what would you do? You bet your ass. You’d do anything it took to stay the hell out of jail. Was what he did right? Of course not. I would think a mistake of that magnitude would haunt you until the day you died (which is punishment in and of its self). Did he make up for it by putting in 40 some odd years of public service? At the very least, it’s a pretty damn good start.

So, I reiterate. I am mourning the loss of the last great Kennedy. I for one will miss, not only him, but what he represented to many of us. He was a man of great wealth who could have pretty much done whatever the hell he wanted, but chose to devote his life to public service. I salute you Teddy. And I forgive you.

Common Sense

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I'm Still Waiting

Since my last blog, I have discussed this health care issue at length face to face, via email, and on a forum I participate in (via email). Up to this point, I have had ONE specific response from a righty that may or may not be valid. He raised two points. One was regarding the tax that would be imposed on those that did NOT get health care. I read the section of the bill. He might be right. But someone pointed out in that forum that the tax would only apply to those making over 350 grand a year. And it would be 2.5% OR the averaged cost of a health care policy. If you are making 350 grand a year I think you can afford that. The jury is still out. The other issue regarded specific government involvement in allowing readmission into hospitals. Again, he may have a point. But frankly, the section of the bill that covers this is so heavily laden with legalese that I couldn’t decipher what the fuck it was talking about (And I will say I take issue with that. If you want the support of America on a bill, you need to write it using language the average American can understand). If we are talking about readmission because your cancer came back, that’s not a good thing. If we are talking readmission because you’re a hypochondriac with a headache and loose bowels, well stay home and take some aspirin and a tablespoon of Kaopectate. So, for the most part, my request for specifics is either ignored, brushed off, or blatantly defied as meaningless.

Here is my next question. How can you be so vehemently opposed to something that you have not taken the time to investigate? How can you speak out so strongly against something, and not have a single specific issue that you can identify as bad. How can you use words like socialism, entitlement, illegal aliens, lack of choice, when you haven’t taken the time to see if these things are really true? I guess you are either desperate to discredit the left, too lazy to do the work, or you are…. That’s right… a moron.

Speaking of morons, how about that Sarah “Failin” (my new nick-name for her… do you like it?). Here we have a woman who claims the health bill has provisions for “death panels”. When confronted, she stands by her claim. Of course, Failin is in a special class all by herself. She obviously believes the vast majority of Republicans are morons or she wouldn’t say some of the things she does. But she must be a moron too, or she wouldn’t say the rest of the things she does. So how do you combat that? If you come out and call her a moron, after she does something moronic, the other morons in the party will castigate you for calling her a moron.

Barney Frank is my new hero. You probably heard about his handling of a right wing-nut at a recent town hall meeting. She was playing the Hitler/Nazi card, likening the health care bill to something “Adolf the Nut Job German” would have implemented. He responded by telling her “When you ask me that question, I’m going to revert to my ethnic heritage and ask you a question: On what planet do you spend most of your time?” He went on to say “Trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table. I have no interest in doing it.” Is that awesome or what? Maybe we should get him and Sarah Failin in a room together for a chit-chat. I have twenty bucks that says he could reduce her to tears in a matter of minutes.

And then we have “Betsy Wetsy” Mcaughey (pronounced McCoy) who is insistent that there will be, well, she doesn’t call them death panels, but she insists people will be counseled on how to end their lives. I talked about her in a previous post when she made her outrageous claims on Fred “I want to be President, no I don’t, yes I do, no I don’t, yes I do, oh, nobody will vote for me so I guess I don’t” Thompson’s radio show. Back then I said the provision she was addressing said that every 5 years the elderly and infirm would be entitled to counseling on end of life decisions. Like those who can afford it are now. I went through all this when my mother passed away. So “Betsy Wetsy” goes on the Daily Show and Jon Stewart tells her exactly what I said. This nut job is still out there trying to convince us that this new bill will encourage euthanasia. And people believe her. I mean they must right? Or the Republican Party would tell her to shut the fuck up!

So, the challenge is still out there. If you oppose this bill, tell us why. Cite a specific passage of the bill and explain how it will turn us into godless, communist, swine. Kudo’s to the one guy who did. He may be the last reasonable Republican out there. At least he looked! But in over 1000 pages he only found two things that may or may not be issues. Be specific. I’m listening. I promised to list them in a future post and I will. But I haven’t gotten anything definitive yet. I will say if the concerns raised by the one guy are valid, I do have a problem with them. But I don’t think they are. Why? Because they are not in the spirit of the bill.

Common Sense

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Show Me

Man oh man is this health care debate getting on my nerves! All I hear from the right is how unbelieveably horrible it would become if the bill were to pass. Now, I've started to read the thing and here is my challenge to you.

Show me a section of the bill that is flat out bad. Reference it specifically. I want to read it and digest it. Maybe you will turn me. I have thrown this challenge out to my conservative friends and so far have not had ONE SINGLE SPECIFIC RESPONSE. I've heard things like "it will eliminate our right to CHOOSE healthcare". Well show me where it says that. I've heard "it will provide benefits to illegal aliens and we will have to pay for that". Show me where it says that. I've heard "we are becoming a socialist state". That isn't an answer to the question. It's a separate topic which I would be happy to debate, but in the meantime, show me something bad in this bill! Will somebody on the right PLEASE grant me this one request? Show me something bad!

I'll tell you what I am beginning to think. I'm beginning to think there may not be anything bad in this bill. I'm beginning to think that the right just can't stand the fact that a young, bright, African American might be on to something here. I'm beginning to think that if Obama made a proposal that would definitively bring peace to the Middle East, eliminate world hunger, and make everyone in America rich beyond their wildest dreams that the right would do everything in their power (which we already know includes lying, preying on the fears of the masses, and deceiving the less brilliant among us) to discredit the idea. Why? Because THEY DIDN'T THINK OF IT. Rush "I'm a Fat Bastard" Limbaugh already said it! He hopes Obama fails because if he doesn't, it will give credibility to the ideals of the left. The more the left succeeds, the less credibility the right has. If the right wants to regain a position of power, they have NO ALTERNATIVE but to do everything they can to insure the failure of the left. Because let's face it people, after the disaster known as the Bush Administration, any success enjoyed by the left could keep the right surpressed for years and years to come.

So show me something. I want to see a specific reference to a section of the bill that will prove to be disastrous (as the right would have you believe). Show me one. Just one. I will list them in a future post.