Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Turning Thirteen II

Turning Thirteen!
Originally uploaded by gehmflor.
My second son
strongly rooting
for right
against wrong
for justice
and mercy
the world

May your teen years
now started
to strengthen
and sharpen
these quality traits
as you grow
and become
a brave hearted


Thursday, March 25, 2010


I am not exactly sure which word accurately describes the way I am feeling regarding the current state of Health Care Reform in our country right now. Perhaps fatigued is the closest. I am very excited by the historic passing of "the bill" but it was nowhere near the change I believe we so desperately need, and so far beyond what Americans on the other side of the political spectrum are willing to accept. I am tired, so tired, of the division among my fellow countrymen!
"In the eyes of way too many far-right Republicans, this is a war. They believe the Obama administration, progressives, liberals and Democrats are destroying America and replacing it with some sort of weird Brundlefly composed of communism, socialism, Maoism, Nazism and -- shock horror! --social justice. (Bob Cesca)"
I believe that the hardest issue to overcome is our inability to examine facts from the other's point of view. So, I return to an illustration I've used before and make the claim that there is, in fact, only one truth but that our examination of that truth from different angles leads us to see different realities.

Originally uploaded by ssj_george.

For instance, lets say we are all looking at Rodin's Thinker (or at least copies of said statue.) Our points of view may be different, but like the statue, reality itself cannot be shifted by our narrow vision.
Each side has focused on their own particular angle and sees only what is in their particular point of view.

For example, the Republican and Libertarian call for fiscal responsiblitiy focuses on the absolute truth that our nation is seriously in debt up over our heads! How could we possibly fund healthcare? (And why would we?)

But, did their point of view, perhaps, keep them from seeing the big picture?

"This time, when we went for all the marbles, we ended with none.

Could a deal have been reached? Who knows? But we do know that the gap between this plan and traditional Republican ideas is not very big. The Obama plan has a broad family resemblance to Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan. It builds on ideas developed at the Heritage Foundation in the early 1990s that formed the basis for Republican counter-proposals to Clintoncare in 1993-1994.

Barack Obama badly wanted Republican votes for his plan. Could we have leveraged his desire to align the plan more closely with conservative views? To finance it without redistributive taxes on productive enterprise – without weighing so heavily on small business – without expanding Medicaid? Too late now. (David Frum)"

all in the details
Originally uploaded by
Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle have we been hyper focused on the enormity of need our country has for fair access to health care?The heartbreaking experiences of families who have lost loved ones due to inadequate medical attention makes it hard for those of us who are focused on this angle to consider the practical cost of helping those in need.

Just like the mall mess featured above, we cannot only have idealistic plans to meet everyone's needs. We must also be sure we can pay for them so that we don't end up with a half finished mess. But this cannot be looked at in a vacuum. Step back and look at the big picture! If people are healthier, they can be more productive. If they are more productive they could earn more money, If they earn more money, they will pay more taxes, which will help pay for Health Care reform!

I also find it more than a little hypocritical for conservatives to throw the blame for debt at our feet, Clinton left our country with a balanced budget. That balance seemed, in my eyes, to disappear into the black hole of war funding during the Bush administration. Still, I do think that progressives could and should focus more clearly on demonstrating the fiscal responsibility of the policies we champion:
"... Democrats need to clearly show that they're standing up to greed run amuck and saving a disappearing middle class, not taking control of people and redistributing wealth...(Kathleen Reardon)

Originally uploaded by
Alex T_SF.
But, how do we, as a nation with such polarizing points of view, act responsibly for the future of our country? Certainly not with the violence that is currently boiling up! Certainly not by calling each other liars!

I long for us to set aside our distracting differences, step back from our narrow emotional points of view and look outside the box for new angles and creative solutions to our nation's needs!

But I fear that it is too late!


One other thought, I have been wondering about the situation with the constitutionality lawsuit. If progressives had been able to maintain the "public option" would it have negated the issue with mandating citizens to purchase service from a private company?

(BTW - Conservatives are not the only ones concerned the possibility of the government overstepping it's bounds!)


I just saw that David Frum may have been fired for the article I quoted above:

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Health Debate via Protest Signs

I am at a point where I don't know what to think about health care. The situation should definitely not be left as is....but I'm not sure I like the weak bill being debated...But something is better than nothing...I guess.

Here's a Flickr photo gallery I put together debating both sides of the issue: Divided Health gallery I'd love to hear what your opinion is!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Death Logo?

I had an erie feeling about this year's olympic logo from the first time I saw it. I couldn't put my finger on why, but it just bothered me. I was strangly relieved when NPR's Thursday edition of All Things Considered confirmed that all was not right with the inukshuk logo:

The flag of the nation of Nunavut features a traditional inukshuk, says expert Peter Irniq. In contrast, the inukshuk in the Vancouver Olympic logo has arms, legs and a head — a different kind of marker that is traditionally a sign that someone has been killed.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Gingerbread City - Yemen

I heard an interview with this photographer on NPR this evening and just had to check out the photos:

I was horrified last Sunday evening when I turned on CNN and heard quite a few clips of politicians and other big wigs talking about going to war with Yemen seemingly in reaction to the attempted Christmas bombing. I am grateful to get a different view of Yemen!