Why The Health Care Debate Is So Contentious

Even prior to the abortion issue being pointlessly dragged into the debate over health care reform the issue has been one of the most contentious debates I have ever seen in politics.

The question quickly becomes: Why?

I feel I have an answer, and it mirrors the matter of the abortion debate as well.

It is simple:

Both sides view the other as disingenuous and downright evil.

From the perspective of the anti-reformists all support for this bill is a disguised effort to destroy capitalism and / or expand the federal government to an unreasonable size.

From the perspective of the pro-reformists all rejection of this bill is a disguised effort to spread hatred, intolerance, racism and violence under the banner of a “tea party” and / or purely strategic politics of conservatives seeking to undermine all bills proposed under President Obama.

(There is, of course, a great deal more complexity at play here in both positions.)

In a situation where both groups view the other as “liars” there is no debate to be had. No discussion that will bare fruits. None.

The fear and lies surrounding this health bill entirely native to the rightwing has no bartering point from which to start from. There is no common ground to find with a person who lies about the record and rejects all evidence that does not compliment their existing preconceptions.

Throughout this year long national debate I have strived to pull the emotions out and put the facts in their place, but such actions only serve a purpose when there remains holdouts on both sides. In the course of this I have seen new levels of hostility directed at me personally more so then ever before in my experience.

I have never “unfriended” and “blocked” so many people in my entire ten-plus years on the Internet.

The incitement toward violence, the death threats, the partisan hate; all existed prior to the matter becoming national in the death threats against Democrats post-HCR. All of this existed in the venom directed at health reform advocates on a daily basis from individuals of a very low moral fiber and very poor understanding of democracy.

In matters discussing life and death, I’d rather not see so many and myself give in to fear; but it truly doesn’t surprise me in the least to see this country explode in mindless paranoia. Big changes equates to big fears, bad economy equates to paranoia on the rise.

In the solid matter of facts, this health bill is a net-positive for America.

But this issue will not lose any of it’s contentious nature no matter how many facts are interjected in the mass spreading of paranoid myths. For too many Americans it is simply easier to believe the worst, and the biased conservative media is sure to provide them endless piles of red meat.

Tea Party Death Threats & Vandalism

The fractious ultra-conservative Tea Party Movement has finally morphed from bazaar partisan rancor into death threats and vandalism against the Democratic health care reform agenda. The racist language directed at John Lewis, the homophobic slurs directed at Barney Frank, the coffin placed in Russ Carnahan’s lawn; the list of examples continues on.

Bigoted anti-Semitism has erupted in talk radio and Internet circles as the threats with possibly bullets behind them find their way to Eric Cantor’s office.

The Tea Party tactics that we see coming to fruition in all this recent hostility toward Democrats, and any progressive or liberal who does anything but stand mute, are designed to sour and squelch all civil debate over health care reform.

This is not and never was about taxes.

The Republican Party and the biased Fox News media have done nothing but prop up these radicals who exhibit these untruthful and violent features. Now these same hypocrites attempt to lay the blame for this vandalism at the feet of Democrats and those who support the health care reform agenda.

The far right has revealed itself as an anti-life and anti-freedom movement in this reform backlash, while the mainstream right reveals itself to be completely accepting of this domestic terrorism.

I want to see these Tea Party bloggers posting an address that is attacked with vandalism to be arrested on charges of willfully contributing to wanton destruction of private property.

Two conservative Tea Party activists posted the address of the home on the Internet on Monday, mistakenly believing it was the home of the congressman. One of the activists urged others to “drop by” and “express their thanks” for Perriello’s vote in favor of health care reform.

Tuesday evening, Perriello’s brother’s family smelled gas and discovered the propane line of a gas-powered grill on their screened-in porch had been slashed.

Repost: 3 Poems

Not A Love Poem

I don’t write love poems, because I don’t fall in love.

I don’t feel anything beating within, driving me crazy.

I don’t feel anything echoing around, stirring my soul.

There is no lion chasing me, I am running for fun.

I have no desire to find another, I am seeking a solitary life.

I cannot be herded into a pen of passion, I am too wild a creature.

I cannot be tamed to serving compassion, I am too vicious a beast.

I will not be bent into a blade of grass, I was molded of iron.

I will not be twisted into a spiral, I am more rigid than a diamond.

There is no wolf chasing me, I am running for sport.

I have not the will to chase this light, I am a man of simple thoughts.

I have not the will to fight this fight, I am a man of simple design.

These words don’t write themselves, these feelings don’t die.


Twenty-Six


Twenty-six years alive.

Nine years since I fell for her.

Nearly three years since she threw me out.

All that pain nearly twisted me back into a demon.

But I found something, something odd.

Pain is the only teacher that works on the stubborn.

With everything reaching it’s apex, crushing point upon me I have found the final degree.

Everyone we know is more precious than we ever thought but we are no more than what we can do for each other.

Love is not enough.

If we are to survive, at all, we must see what we can do for ourselves and for the world.

It is true vanity to desire to change the world.

It is true humility to wish to change yourself.

No matter what direction any of those we love takes our changing them only pushes them harder out the door.

The young hold all the answers and all the right questions.

This world twists too much on these simple human minds, we are but electrical firings in our deepest thought.

As we enter the world we are able to see it, undiluted.

Then we become faded and lost to this almost as quick as we gained it, to exchange the extreme identity we find appropriate.

Above all else, a child is prone to love.

This is what we lose as become more aware of all that is.

An open heart is punished by all in the mature world.

Yet that is the only nature of existence by which any life form should ever exist.

A pure force of good will and lacking the knowledge required to do serious harm to another’s heart and soul.

If those who draw blood around the world could feel, not the righteous screams from the lost, but an endless love coming from a sworn enemy.

They would place all weapons aside and leave the war making for the next.

Above all the nature of grace within innocence is what all that is true and real is composed of.


If these words were writ in snow, the sun would melt them in a glance.


If these words were writ in a riverbank, the water would rise to wash them as the earth churned.


If these words were cast to the sky, the air would smolder then burn.


If these words were carved to stone, the land would swallow itself whole.


If these words were made to flesh, a soul would cross the divide as the first breath came to be.


These words cast unto me. Forever shall be the same, forever within me.

Yes We Can Have Health Care!

We have talked about it.

We have fought about it.

We have gotten upset about it.

But now it’s over, and I called this shot from months back.

Some said I was counting my chickens before they hatched, others believed in my crystal ball.

But here we have it! Health Care Reform in the U.S. has passed!

And not a moment too soon.

11th Hour of U.S. Health Care Reform

WASHINGTON — After a frenzied push to nail down final commitments and resolve lingering disputes in their ranks, House Democrats today are poised to pass the most sweeping change to the nation’s health care system since the creation of Medicare nearly half a century ago.

President Obama has at long last starting stumping for health care reform and started speaking the truth to the power of the health insurance companies strangling American families worse and worse every year. Whatever strategic issues I have with Democratic Health Care Reform, the bottom line is the party and the president have stepped up to do the right thing and put forward the agenda of the American people instead of the agenda of Corporate America being placed in the highest priority. Whatever enhancements I myself would add to this bill (Public Option) it is nonetheless a step in the right direction and beyond that point, if we failed to complete at the bare minimum of this reform in the system there will be dire consequences on the overall national economic stability in years to come.

This is the eleventh-hour of health care reform in the U.S., and this political blogger is predicting we will see these reforms pass.

Good news, to be sure.

After more than forty years of inaction and failures to address this most important issue we shall at long last see moral standards in our health care system and some limit placed on the corrupt practices of the insurance companies.

Things I Didn’t Want To Show You

Release

My heart should be pounding out of my chest, my knees should be shaking, my mind should be racing, but I feel kind of … peaceful … up here. Pigeons flutter out into the wind between these giants of steel, concrete, and glass. My feet inch closer to the edge. The wind should be up enough for kite flying in the park … that shouldn’t matter to me now … I’ll be falling soon.


I stand on the small granite lip before a two-hundred story plunge atop the tallest building I could find without fences or locked doors blocking off the roof. The cars below look like the small toys I once had, the people like specks of paint moving across a gray canvas of sidewalk. I can feel the wind doing what I want it to … pulling me closer toward the edge. My fingers are wrapped around a metal pipe just below the short granite wall running the parameter of the rooftop. With each slow second that passes I can feel my grip loosening.


Voices, probably police, are behind me but I can’t hear them. I can’t hear anything but the rushing of wind between the skyscrapers and the birds cooing and flapping their wings at both sides of my feet. The time, I hadn’t noticed before, the time up here is slowed. Like time itself is attempting to run underwater, to swim upstream. Every second an hour, every hour a day. I could have been on this ledge for a year, or a decade, by now. I could stay another decade or two for all the wondrous peace I’ve found.


Like the crack of a whip my reasons return. Not a soul in the god-forsaken city cares about me more than they care about a stray cat, or these filthy birds at my feet. I have no one close, not the way I want … not the way I need. Sure I have a mom and a dad and all that; it doesn’t matter now though. Everybody tells you you’re doing good if you got that but I think everybody has something more, something they hide from me, and they say all that crap to make people like me feel better. What good is someone if you can’t really talk to them? What good is life if you get nothing from it? … The quiet up here is really, peaceful. Not even the birds can make a sound anymore, every single sound muted except for the wind howling, and pulling.


Some are sure to say I was living in my fantasy of not having what I needed of this world. Some are sure to say I’m selfish and blind what the world holds for me. Some people are worth even less than I. There isn’t anyone in this life who wants to hear the infinite melancholies and ever-resilient droning; but I spared as much for the worst of them. There isn’t anyone not bound to love who did so for very long. They could say they love me when I’m gone but do they? People who love one another – even a little in the only way that matters – give all they have, every effort, every pain, every single word, to see those they love be complete and at peace in even the smallest way. She wouldn’t do that for me and I’ve done it for everyone I could ever have hoped to … everyone … so drained of anything that was ever whole.


These reasons mean nothing, I mean nothing, this day is nothing, this instant is nothing. The process of birth to death is nothing, nothing. I let some tension out of my fingers and lean out to look over the edge … only the tips of each of my fingers remain clutching that cold metal pipe. I can see each ray of sunlight bounce off the windows below, I can feel each singular beat of wings against the air as every bird takes flight at once – enveloping me in feathers, a bed of feathers – as a the pure taste of cold wind forces it’s way into my mouth. I spread my arms into the sky as a forceful gust pushes my chest and face back from the edge and then let my weight pull me over.

Untold

If these words were writ in snow, the sun would melt them in a glance.


If these words were writ in a riverbank, the water would rise to wash them as the earth churned.


If these words were cast to the sky, the air would smolder then burn.


If these words were carved to stone, the land would swallow itself whole.


If these words were made to flesh, a soul would cross the divide as the first breath came to be.


These words cast unto me. Forever shall be the same, forever within me.

CNN: Coffee vs. Tea

Coffee vs. Tea: A political movement is brewing

Washington (CNN) — The new Coffee Party movement deemed its official kickoff Saturday a “huge success,” with dozens of talks held at coast-to-coast coffee shops as members came together to discuss the issues most important to them.

Billed by many as an answer to the conservative Tea Party movement, the Coffee Party was born on Facebook just six weeks ago. While the group has become an instant hit online — it boasts more than 141,000 Facebook fans as of Saturday — gauging the success of this weekend’s coffee meetups was predicted to be an indicator of the group’s strength.

“Just like in the American Revolution, we are looking for real representation right now. We don’t feel represented by our government right now, and we don’t really feel represented well by the media either,” Park said last week on CNN’s “American Morning.” “It’s kind of a simple call to action for people to wake up and take control over their future and demand representation. And it requires people standing up and speaking up.”

Sound familiar? Tea Party activists use much of the same language in describing their year-old protest movement that’s steeped in fiscal conservatism and boiling-hot, anti-tax rhetoric.

“It’s a response to how they are trying to change our government,” Park told CNN, referring to the Tea Party. “It’s their methodology that we are against. We may want some of the same things, but their journey is so alienating to us.”