Monthly Archives: April 2013

Und Die Luft der Freiheit Weht… Jason Collins

aaa Jason Collins

I am extremely happy for Jason and grateful that he has made this day so much more beautiful!

The Coming Out of Jason Collins: Major Sport’s 1st Openly Gay Athlete

Once again, I am so proud to be an alumni of this great institution which has intensively recruited and nurtured so many beautifully unique and strong beings. Thank you Stanford for recognizing and cultivating freedom of thought in theory and practice. Thank you Jason for sharing yourself with us.

a seal

The Wind of Freedom Blows

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Fatal Results of the Sequestration (Part II)

sequest

As America’s submerged state slowly rises in the general public’s attention through the already devastating cuts that are being  made due to the sequestration, it is my hope that not only the people who wield the power to change this realize the short- and long-term necessity to intensively fund federal programs but also that those who have put them in Congress and other positions of power will understand our interdependence as citizens. Our incapacity and unwillingness to delegate the necessary funding to essential programs is a direct reflection of our beliefs system which is rooted in selfish short-sightedness.

I cannot even begin to imagine how some can go to sleep at night knowing that their decision to withhold funding to the neediest and most vulnerable in our society has, in many instances, fatal consequences in the short-run. Furthermore, how can they reconcile the long-term and guaranteed result of macro-economic suicide in global markets (labor, manufacturing, intellectual properties, etc.) by allowing this culture of “pro-active impoverishment” to persist with their conscience?

I am grateful for those raising their voices in various ways to fight impoverishment as well as media outlets which have recognized the urgency and injustice of our system and make it a point to investigate, research, publish and/or broadcast this chronic crisis. Please find several links to articles documenting some of the real and “visible” effects of the sequestration below:

State of Emergency in Pre-School Funding

The Sequestration and Meals On Wheels

Austerity and Health

 

Meanwhile, some very good news (if you don’t think the following has an effect on domestic policies here and abroad, think again)…Billionaires Flee Havens as Trillions Pursued Offshore

 

 

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Girl on Fire: An Empowerer At Work

Please take a few moments to read this blog from Alicia Keys about her commitment to improving the lives of those fighting and living with HIV/AIDS here and abroad: Empowered to Be Greater Than Aids. Alicia’s awareness campaigns and direct involvement through her own foundation and programs have inspired me to be the better person that I am becoming. I hope that they, too, will serve to inspire you to become or stay involved in the many organizations and efforts that are taking place here at home and abroad to improve the lives of those who need our help most.

Her new campaign with the Kaiser Permanente Foundation: Greater Than Aids Empowered Campaign

Here’s more on her foundation: Keep A Child Alive

Documentary films from Keep A Child Alive: Keep a Child Alive & More

My deepest wishes for Alicia and all who are working so hard to bring Light and sanity to the masses and those in power…

In abstract:

Although I know that she welcomes challenges and thrives when facing them, I wish Alicia wouldn’t have to fight for our most basic rights. I believe in order and progress and could never be considered an anarchist, though “conservatives” find my thoughts on civil society disturbing. My beliefs on the role of government are founded in a fundamental belief in sharing which I have retained since birth and cultivated throughout my life. I believe in federalism and uniform and just laws. I am, as a result, in sad awe of the callousness of lawmakers and interest groups at work in this nation that continually seek to consolidate financial and social power for the few and against the masses. Their modi operandi are disinformation, disenfranchisement, exclusion, fear and repression often times in the name of the divine; i.e. the absolute antithesis of universal rights and the essence of the divine which I believe to be love and compassion.

We are in need of greater empathy and a higher consciousness.

In practice:

It is my hope that we will be able to provide the foundation upon which our basic rights and those who come after us can be guaranteed. In order to effectively put an end to HIV/AIDS, we cannot continue to solely rely on treating the symptoms of the virus. We have to seriously consider what we can do to effectively fight it.

By understanding the link between raising awareness as well as the need for and provision of continuous treatment through providing comprehensive health care to everyone, we will put ourselves in a position to stop this virus. If people do not have health insurance nor the financial resources to receive treatment, they will not be able to protect themselves nor their loved ones. An intact and all-inclusive health insurance system for everyone is key.  The solutions to this pandemic and others cannot and should not be piecemealed.

I do not view the HIV/AIDS pandemic as just a virus or a singular issue. How we have viewed it and attempted to treat it is a reflection of values and mores that were prevalent in 1462. Just like antiquated views on poverty and the poor dispensation of equal opportunity, widespread beliefs held in this country by many decision-makers that the poor are poor -in this instance, the uninsured are uninsured- because they deserve to be are the obstacles that prevent providing real solutions.

These beliefs, coupled with the avid obstruction of the creation of a national health care system and the pro-active destruction of public works and the federal system through Congress, can be described as spiritually anorexic and domestically toxic. Moreover, they are macro-economically suicidal in this competitive global environment: Republican Physician Executive Talks About Single Payer. Other countries have understood that well-spent “federal empathy and compassion” in the form of national health care systems and intense investment in public education leads not only to a healthier, happier, highly-competitive and high-wage workforce but to being indispensable lenders to other nations, the U.S. included.

We are in need of a single payer health system.

Update – More food for thought: The Inconvenient Sequestration

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Wake Up, America! Wake Up.

a med symbol

Here’s an article and a response to it that lightens my heart despite the sad nature of the issue at hand. There is something reassuring in knowing that there are many others who not only share the same concerns and insight but also believe in the same solution.

For those of you who are greatly interested in the plight of American health care and would like insight from those who are practically and empirically involved in seeking solutions, please subscribe to Dr. Don McCanne’s Quote of the Day emails for enlivened and enlightened thought. You will not be disappointed.

On our “regionalization” of what should be a uniform national program:

Uwe Reinhardt’s One Size Fits All

Interesting insight and considerations concerning our health care system and corporate site investment from a businessman’s perspective:

A Businessman’s Response

Here’s a direct link to Dr. McCanne’s Quote of the Day page: Subscribe to and learn from the Quote of the Day.

Relevant “Must Sees” just released:

Remote Area Medical

The Waiting Room

 

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The Truth About Government-funded Programs

Friedman and Keynes Who's on the right side of history?

Friedman and Keynes
Who’s on the right side of history?

I have always thought it strange that so many people harbor such deep distrust towards our federal government as regards its public programs. What is even stranger is that the very people who are bashing government programs are the ones who appear to be benefiting the most.

Here are a few articles which lend credence to this assumption:

Taker Nation

Ezra Klein on The Submerged State

For anyone who wants to gain more insight into the programs the government is responsible for, The Submerged State will give you a solid foundation for better understanding. It will also give you deeper knowledge into how the powerful few have been able to effectively and broadly marginalize, denigrate and relativize the positive role government plays in our daily lives.

Suzanne Mettler’s The Submerged State

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A Much-Needed Dialogue

Greece

I was extremely excited to see the development of a much-needed dialogue manifest itself last night. Throughout the years, I have always squirmed at the mention of Greece, Italy and Spain in U.S. media broadcasts. I squirmed for several reasons:

1) Whenever these countries were brought up, the Euro bashing would begin.
2) When the Euro bashing began, airwaves would fill with lies and half-truths distorting the reality and factual basis for the crises in these countries and in the Eurozone.
3) My frustration, as a result, would grow because I knew that these lies and half-truths were being disseminated by people who have an agenda to keep U.S. Americans uninformed, fearful and dismissive of anything the European Union did or achieved.
4) Sadness would take root in my mind and soul that, once again, the opportunity to open a critical dialogue for our nation was once again buried under untruths and we would continue down the path of social injustice here at home.

Last night, however, MSNBC and Chris Hayes took it upon themselves to speak with the former Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, who intimately knows the history, problems and complexities his country was and is facing. We need to heed his warning that austerity is not the path we should choose based upon his experience: Chris Hayes and former Prime Minister Papandreou

This viewpoint was further supported by Radhika Balakrishnan and Chrystia Freeland:
Radhika and Chrystia Add Important Insight to the Discussion

I greatly applaud the fact that no one on the panel was afraid to draw parallels to our own socio-economic system. In fact, their firmly voiced unanimous recommendations for the need for deeper consideration and self-reflection on our part to solve our crisis here at home were enlivening. It would behoove us to invite experts from various countries and relevant backgrounds to factually inform the U.S. public of not only crises in their countries/regions but, especially, of their achievements in socio-economic policy. I am quite sure many U.S. Americans would be shocked to learn of how our socio-economic system is viewed.

In support of the afore-mentioned certainty and in closing, I would like to revisit an observation I made in a previous blog. If the opinion of Germany’s arch conservative think tank, the Roman Herzog Institute, is any indication, then conservative actors in our society should pay very close attention:

“If an arch conservative German think tank (the Roman Herzog Institute: http://www.romanherzoginstitut.de/uploads/tx_mspublication/Enste-Soziale_Marktwirtschaft_aus_ordnungspolitischer_Sicht.pdf , please see Die marktwirtschaftliche Loesung angelsaechsischer Praegung table on pg. 12) says that:

1) our social welfare system is weak and rudimentary,

2) that we invest too little in our human capital and

3) that our system doesn’t provide “Equal & Fair Start Opportunities”

then it is glaringly evident that we are on the wrong path with the wrong mindset and the wrong system. Breathe deeply and consider this, Germany has learned from its mistakes. It is not perfect, but it has evolved. It took 2 World Wars, the determined goodwill of a Marshall Plan and domestic upheaval in the form of the Green Revolution as well as other progressive social movements to create this highly socially conscious and dynamic economic powerhouse.” -excerpt from An Exercise In Love

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The Power of Connection

There are so many inspiring people and organizations in the world today that I am simply in awe. I hope you enjoy the video and article Skoll World Forum Kicks Off In London and that it gives you plenty of food for thought!

And today, I especially loved the following observation:

“The people who write the songs and culture of the day are going to change the society more than those in charge of policy and the law.” – Joi Ito

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