Thursday, August 27, 2009

I just love(d) him

Ted Kennedy. I loved him for the man he was and the man he wasn't. I grew up with him being there ... just ahead, leading the way. And as he aged he aged with wisdom and compassion earned from the learning of past mistakes.

He could so roar and he did upon the senate floor: Remember this? What a statement, what passion, what greatness! I hope and pray he is not the last of his kind, but it would seem he was the only one of his kind in the halls of Congress for a long long time.

I loved Jack and Bobby, too, but Ted was of closer to my generation and he was able to be part of my leadership for my adult life -- being there supporting the same liberal causes that have been part of my being, giving voice, where I would not be heard. Thank you Ted for that. Thank you so much.

And with every fibre of my being I will continue to promote the last cause he fought so hard -- healthcare -- and it may just be that that he will live on in our psyche and our spirit and will so inspire those of us who believed in him and in this cause of his to never give up until Americans acquire the right, the just right of healthcare for every one.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Health Care is a Right

The debate going on at the moment in the US over healthcare has made me fear for my country. It is for me a very dark debate that doesn’t seem to have changed for thirty or more years. It is a debate that is a lie, a debate that is based on the fact that millions of people believe has to do with the future of their health care, but which is really driven by big business and the need to keep a large and powerful country a feudal society.

That is the irony of American democracy. That is the cold hard fact about a capitalist society. Keeping people tied to medical insurance through the workplace enables feudalism, distorts freedom and cripples liberty. Those angry faces on the television of people ‘not wanting America to become like Russia’, do not understand how they have been manipulated by their fears into believing that somehow having the right to medical care will undermine the country and lead to a ‘socialist’ state. The word ‘socialist’ is another one of those propaganda words that the capitalist forces have been able to abuse so that the ‘tethers’ in place, remain in place.

Most American people understand that the medical system is a disaster. As more and more people travel to other countries they have learned that what has in the past been sold to them as ‘socialized medicine’ and therefore a terrible idea, is in fact a liberating force within those societies. For many people in the United States life without the right to medical help is hellish nightmare that can include losing ones home, bankruptcy, and death. And just because you have health insurance doesn’t mean you are covered either. In addition to 46 million people without insurance are at least 25 million and untold millions more who are underinsured. So the message is to stay healthy and continue paying for insurance that you may find lets you down when you need it the most.

But I believe that most Americans know this. The media blitz is using old scare tactics, but these tactics are no longer pulling the wool over our eyes. The signs of hate and words of fear are from a different time when a media blitz could undermine our needs and our basic human right could be denied: the right to healthcare.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Relaxation and Reflection

It’s great to be back again in France for the summer. So much has changed for me in the past year that it’s comforting in a strange way to be here where things are so much the same as they were two years ago! We don’t do very much that is exciting – rather it’s a time for relaxation and renewing our psyche.

I was on my own here for not quite 10 days. As the house is several miles from the nearest town – though only one kilometre from the village of Aynac it meant that I was left to my own devices and at home for all of that time. I admit I could have walked into the village, but I am far too timid when it comes to confronting various animals that tend to go ‘walk-about’ along the route that I would have to take! At any rate, I was very well stocked with food and drink and lived the life a recluse for a time.

It’s interesting to have to please no one but oneself. All my choices were my own – what to eat, when to eat, what to watch on TV, what movies to catch up on – when to get up or nap or lie in the sun. As time went on I became more and more aware of being alone and of my own vulnerability as a lone creature. I didn’t tell anyone and none of my friends here knew until the day before Neil returned, when the ‘outside’ actually came by … And I realized again that other people are important; it is important to have bonds, friendship, loving relationships – people who care.

As I get older, I find myself becoming more and more insular. Some of this is because I am afraid of ‘bothering’ people; that friends and relations, etc. do have their own lives and problems. But I also think maybe I am becoming lazy. Having friends means making an effort and I’m finding that more and more I don’t want to make an effort – I have to talk myself into it. This is not very nice of me really. So, I need to change this tendency of mine – which is a good reason why it’s better for me to leave France after a few months of self-reflection and relaxation and return to Southport and be out and about once again.