“We as Americans are completely obsessed and wrapped up in a lot of the wrong values -- looking good, having cash in the bank, being perceived as rich, famous and successful or just being famous, ... It's the most superficial part of the American dream and who would know better than me? The only thing that's going to bring you happiness is love and how you treat your fellow man and having compassion for one another.”
I had my usual busy weekend planned with a little bit extra suddenly thrown in. I had received an email from my brother that a dear friend of forty years had passed away. I immediately made plans to attend the wake Sunday evening and the church service Monday morning. I had also noted Saturday's Commondreams.org headline about Tea Party protesters calling black members of the house "Ni**er", and Fa**ot" called to an openly gay Democrat. This following a speech by Republican Conservative that spoke to their paranoia about health care and by implication the Obama administration. In addition to shouting these vile obscenities it was also reported that there was a Tea Bagger arrested for using physical force against a congressman. If this had been an isolated incident it would be one thing but it isn't isolated. The covert and overt racism coming from these people is clear. They have a problem dealing with a black man in the white house and have finally gotten to saying the magic word, "nigger", clearly telling us where they are coming from. And these are the people that the Republicans have sucked up to. It is a sad moment when this happens but they can now be seen for what they are. They are to be pitied because they have believed the lies and distortions of the Right wing media and the corporate owned Republicans. They have allowed their racism to cloud their judgement and in the process destroyed their relevance.
Saturday I took a load of my college students to train at our karate headquarters in NYC. I had about twenty young adults training in karate dojo and to watch these young people was a joy. They represent my hope for the future. In conversations with them throughout the semester they talk of a positive future. They are a tolerant lot, devoid of crude prejudices and racism. They are the complete opposites to the Tea Baggers. They have renewed my faith in people. They are not judgmental, they are kind, and they are not full of hate. Something the Tea Baggers have in abundance. The last major piece to this weekend was the funeral of my friend. Listening to the Masonic service in the chapel, he was a 50 year mason, and the church service Sunday one message came through clearly. The message was one of hope, forgiveness, and love. All this occurred to the background news of the health care reform passing in congress, something I am pleased about.
America is a Capitalist nation and while capitalism built America, and while business is good and necessary for jobs. The corporate mentality can be cruel and uncaring. In a bad economy people loose their jobs, their health care and their homes through no fault of their own. This bill will go along way to helping all Americans and especially small businesses, the poor, the unemployed, children, the sick, and the uninsured. Is it a perfect bill? Of course not but it is a beginning. For millions of seniors on fixed incomes it closes the donut hole that penalized seniors who often had to choose between medicine or food. It helps children with pre-existing conditions get coverage. It truth it helps millions of Americans. And when the reality of it begins to sink in I hope all Americans see the good and fight to keep these gains. The argument for small government and keeping government out of corporate business is a farce. The country is too big and complex and to do that and would allow millions of Americans to be victimized by a ruthless health insurance industry, in fact if we had done that the industrial corporations would have turned America into a garbage dump of toxic waste, polluted rivers and unbreathable air. Government made the difference. Without government intervention America would look like Haiti, exploited by corporate greed and the people living on the edge of poverty while the few rich and powerful sucked the life out of them. It has been said of America, “America's health care system is second only to Japan... Canada, Sweden, Great Britain, ... well all of Europe. But you can thank your lucky stars we don't live in Paraguay!”
This health care bill like social security and medicare was needed and while not perfect it demonstrates what a caring nation should be about. It is not socialism, it is human compassion for out fellow man. A lesson lost on many Americans. America should not only be about the almighty dollar and greed and selfishness, it should be a country of compassion and caring a country of people that extends a hand to to someone in need. This bill is the beginning.
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