Friday, March 19, 2010

If it doesn't become law the health insurance companies will benefit and become richer and the American public will become the poorer

One of the central public policy questions for U.S. citizens today is whether the richest nation on earth will continue to allow millions of poor people to exist without health insurance. To do so violates biblical justice. How can pro-family Christian political voices not demand health insurance for poor families? How can pro-life Christian political coalitions not insist on decent health care for poor babies after they are born? How can any Christian read what the Bible says about the poor and what Jesus says about the sick without hearing a divine call to demand that every person in this nation, starting with the poor, have access to health insurance?
~Ronald Sider, founder of Evangelicals for Social Action


When I was a little boy I went with my mom to the polls during a presidential election. I asked what was the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans? I was told that the Democrats fight for the poor and the working man and that the Republicans fight for the rich and the corporations. I thought then that it was a simplistic answer and that it had to be more complex than that. But in fact it is not far from the truth. The Republicans fight for the rich and corporate interests and in turn get their financial support for their campaigns for reelection. Hence their support for the health insurance companies, big oil, coal, banks and the auto industry. One hand washes the other. Of course big business is the machine that has made America great and is the engine of the economy. But that machine can be ruthless, cold hearted and exploitive. The rights of the people needs a champion and that role has fallen to the Liberal Democrats. Not to be naive, one must realizes that both groups appeal to their base and in the liberal thinking states and cities Right Wing Republican Conservatives don't stand much of a chance of being elected where as in the heartland and bible belt the mind set is more conservative and a Liberal Democrat stands little chance. Anti-liberal Obama hating, Glenn Beck loving Tea Baggers are coming from, mid America, bible belt white conservative areas, they tend to be that element of America that is the white, poorly informed and lacking real knowledge of the issues, working class Americans.
While the liberal Democrats are from the west and east coasts and center of America and are often the better educated white middle classes. The people of color seem to have a less prominent position in these debates. Blacks and Hispanics tend to be socially liberal and religiously conservative. They tend to vote Democratic than Republican and are for the most part are written of by the Republican/Conservative party.
The health care debate has highlighted the differences and the opposing sides are becoming transparent especially the Republicans. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) said that the "The Republican Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of the insurance industry.", and that is exactly what they are. They have been bought and paid, what is amazing is how many Americans believe their lies and distortions and act against their own self interest. Now it is all coming to a head. The Democrats are set to push for the passage of the bill by Sunday and if it is accomplished it will positively impact the the lives of thirty million Americans. Many of those who have opposed the bill will be direct beneficiaries of the bill. Then try to take it away from them once they realize they are better off. They will also want the additional protections that was left out to appease the Blue Dog Democrats. It was the same way with social security which was opposed by the Republicans and passed into law under the Democrats and President Roosevelt and then Medicare which was opposed by Republicans for thirty years and was finally passed into law by President Johnson and the Democrats. The Republicans have no interest in social justice, Beck opposes social justice see previous posts, that has always been the Democrats issue.
Soon the debates will be over and it will be law or it will not be law. If it becomes law we all benefit except the health insurance companies. If it doesn't become law the health insurance companies will benefit and become richer and the American public will become the poorer and the best health care in the world will only be available to those who can afford the exorbitant premiums that the industry will be free to charge.


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FOX (fibs, fools and fabrications) NEWS

Sunday, March 14, 2010

"Fire all the teachers", sounds like a good idea when students fail. Sounds good, but it is a solution of failure

"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell, where his influence stops."

~Henry Brooks Adams

"Fire all the teachers", sounds like a good idea when students fail. Sounds good, but it is a solution of failure, it is not the answer. The teachers for the most part are extremely hard working and dedicated. The problem is not the teachers, in most cases it is the parents that are the problem. Politicians won't tell you this, the school administration won't tell you this, the chancellor of the Department of Education won't tell you this, because it is always easier to blame the teachers. Parents are a big voting block and the politicians are afraid to shake things up. After twenty five years in a classroom in a middle school in Brooklyn teaching kids from poor, immigrant and working class families certain truths become very apparent.

In this environment the teacher is more than a teacher, the teacher is often a disciplinarian, a counselor, and surrogate parent, a role model and compassionate ear, and problem solver. One of the major problems in an inner city school is children that have no support system at home, or live in a home where there are parents who work long hours and get home very late and have little or no interaction with their children. There are kids being raised by aunts, or older siblings, or kids where English is not spoken at home or where there are no books or even newspapers in English, and if the school didn't provide breakfast many of these kids would go hungry. Then there are the kids with parents that are themselves poorly educated, who are incapable of helping their child or are poor role models as a result of life styles of violence, alcohol and drugs. Then there are kids with parents in jail, or on drugs or most often in single parent homes.

To many students the real lessons they learn are learned on the streets. These kids and sometimes their parents see violence as a solution to a problem. Education and learning is often seen as a waste of time. To a classroom teacher, often from the middle class, who lives far away from the school neighborhood and can't relate to the lifestyle of the children there may be disconnect. Despite these differences and challenges most teachers are dedicated and care deeply about their students and struggle daily with how best to get his message across. Many of these kids are problem kids and create chaos in the classroom often making it more difficult for the teacher to teach and for the kids that want to, to learn. Despite all these problems teachers teach and work and are dedicated to their kids learning.

State education departments constantly tinker with the system, restructure tests, require mountains of paper work from the teachers to justify their own existences. Yet the real problem is ignored. The problem is the home life. Responsibility for failing students needs to be placed where it belongs, in the home. When a parent says to a teacher, 'He doesn't listen to me, I don't know what to do", and the parent bore the child, raised the child and now has no control of their 12 year old. What can they expect of a teacher who sees the child for 40 minutes three to four times a week with another 29 to 30 kids in a classroom? It is time that the focus and responsibility for failing students be placed where it belongs, in the home. If the parents are failing with their kids they are failing their kids and sending them to school unprepared and that is where it all begins.


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Keith Olbermann's father died Saturday March 13th. Keith Olbermann has shared his pain over his dad's illness over the last few months. To Keith Olbermann and his family my condolences and prayers.


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FOX (the Marx brothers of) NEWS


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Think Progress

Church Uses Marquee To Speak Out Against Beck: ‘Sorry Mr Beck, Jesus Preached Social Justice’


Crooks and Liars

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