On March 23rd, 2010, the United States Congress blacked out for 1.1 seconds. All of those that survived saw their futures. Some, for lack of better judgment, couldn't see anything at all, leading them to assume the worst. But unlike the plot of a favorite TV show of mine called Flash Forward this revelation does not come months from now, but starts today!
President Obama was successful in his quest to push a Healthcare Reform Bill through the Senate and Congress on Tuesday, with only the reconciliation phase left to make it a full blown policy. This, of course, is met with much apprehension on the part of many right wingers nationwide. They believe that our nation's sovereignity is headed in the wrong direction with the passing of such a bill. That government run healthcare can only lead to great and terrible things like socialism, food shortages, economic collapse, and a Jar Jar Binks TV show! The last one alone could unravel the fabric of the universe all by itself.
But to equate how all of this banter about healthcare reform has been perceived by myself, and I'm sure others across the country, I offer these excerpts from the original Batman film of 1989:
Right Wingers: "Ever dance with the devil in the pale moon light?"
Left Wingers: "What?"
Right Wingers: "I always ask that of all my prey. I guess I just like the sound of it."
(Right Winger shoots Left Winger in the chest with a pistol. Screaming ensues).
American Public: "This town needs an enema!"
(Public blows on their collective kazoos)
That's about the gist of it for most Americans, many of whom said, "Huh?" when all of this began and some still say, "Why should I care?"
For one, from what I've seen of the bill, what is it that so many right wingers are afraid of anyway? What's so wrong with trying to help everyone have health insurance? If you work for a company, nothing changes, so this act seems to only be helping those that can't buy affordable health insurance, like my small business owning parents for example. What's so wrong with allowing your child to be covered on your insurance until they are 26 years old? Are we afraid they won't ever move out? What's so wrong with providing the elderly a life preserver in medication funds, when they have been royally screwed by Medicare up until now when the funds run out? What's so wrong with no longer having a cap on how much medical coverage you get for the lifetime of your plan? What's so wrong with insurance companies no longer being able to deny people with prior medical conditions or pull an already insured American's policy out from under them if they do get sick?
Is it just me? These things don't sound so bad, I think. Until you read the fine print. Then you can see why right wingers HATE THIS CRAP. Here's the biggest reason why they hate it: this new coverage will be paid for by wealthy tax payers more so than middle class working tax payers! Ahhhh, so it's all about the money, once again.
Not so fast! Right wingers have some legitimate gripes. Number one, should abortion be covered? That's certainly an issue and one I would have to say is a bit tricky at the least. Should all immigrants have access to this healthcare insurance, particularly those that have come up out of the Southwestern United States in recent years? I mean they already take our jobs, why not take our healthcare too? However, the bill addresses these people as well and also seems to stipulate that if you're illegal, it's a no go for you on healthcare coverage. But the biggest issue with the right wingers is...the passing of this bill just makes Prez Obama and Nancy Pelosi look good! I mean in the grand scheme of things, we knew this was the most diabolical pair to come together since Hitler and Himmler, Saddam and Osama, Simon and Garfunkel, Lois and Clark, Ren and Stimpy, Pamela and Tommy Lee, Britney and K-Fed, Bush and Cheney. But you can hardly stamp on their backsides the Antichrist and False Prophet label just yet.
I'll admit this, I didn't vote for Obama. However, I wouldn't call myself a right winger either. I'm what you call a Republocrat! I ride the fence because, like all Americans, some days I'm conservative and others I'm liberal. Somedays I'm one side more than the other, but I never seem to waver from the fact that I can never completely agree with either side because I do this strange thing called...THINKING! And what I think about all of this is, you need to support the elected official that is in office short of starting World War III. Because contrary to popular belief (meaning FOX News), the Demoncrats, those left winger liberals that occupy homes within the confines of the United States the same as I do, DO have the best interests of the American people in mind, even if that isn't always translated onto paper for all to see. I mean come on, we SURVIVED eight freakin years of Bush and his shenanigans, we can certainly survive this! And a few times there I thought World War III might actually break out with Bush, so I'm VERY happy to be here.
Fact remains, the man needs to be given his do. President Obama got a bill through that is designed to help most Americans who just can't seem to find it anywhere else. That's enough reason for me to continue supporting my President. Because contrary to FOX News, Obama IS the President of the United States of America and will be for at least 3 more years. If this whole escapade was supposed to have been compared to the Battle of Waterloo, then either someone got the sides mixed up or Obama has just completely rewritten history. But the more obvious choice isn't even listed: Once again a few well-to-dos in Washington took themselves way too seriously and now they have egg on their collective faces. So get ready well-to-do right wingers, I want Lasik surgery and YOU'RE going to pay for it!!!
Friday, March 26, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Good Evening my little girl!
This is Daddy, the one that keeps nuzzling you daily when you're trying to sleep. Has it really been only 2 weeks since the moment you were born? We spent 39 weeks of our lives waiting on you to become a part of it, and in only seconds it seems here you are and you've already changed since those first moments.
You're a blessing to us, Abby Whab. As I sit here watching Niney and Papa, your grandparents, holding you while you sleep, it reminds me of a time I cannot remember. An earlier, simpler time when your Niney was holding me the same way she is holding you now. Of course, I was too young to remember this and can only rely on those who were grown up then to tell me of those times. We will do the very same thing for you one day.
You're more than just a blessing, Abby, you're a miracle. According to a doctor that my mom had to receive treatments from a few short years after I was born, you should not even exist. The reason being, he said I should not have existed either. My mother, your grandmother, had a hormone imbalance that should have prevented her from ever having a child of her own. The condition was one that had been present since before I was born. The doctor was truly amazed when Niney told him that I was her 3 year-old son, and that she had had me from conception until that day. To this he replied the following words, "I'm a christian Mrs. Thrift and I believe that everyone and everything on this Earth was put here for a reason. We all have a purpose, but every now and then someone is sent here for a special reason. Now I may never live to see what that purpose may be, but I believe your son was put here for a special reason because he never should have been."
Strong words, especially from a reknowned endocrinologist as he was at that time. Just as that doctor said that day, Abby, he did not live to see what special reason I was sent here for. I myself am not sure what that reason may be either, but I've still got a lot of time left to figure it out, hopefully. But, perhaps that reason is you, Abby? If I never should have been, obviously you should have never been as well. So that begs the question, what reason are you here for now?
Only time will tell what you become as you age, dear little Abby. For now, your special purpose in life is the shear happiness you bring to both your mother and I. Through 7 years of marriage, we wondered when you might arrive? Sometimes we got distraught, worried that maybe God had passed us by somehow when it came to being a parent. But as everyone often told your mother and I when we hoped and prayed for someone we loved to come along, for someone we wanted to marry to come along, it's all in God's timing.
I myself, since the time I first married Leslie, believed we would have a little girl first. When your mother told me she was pregnant, I knew you were a girl, as did Niney. What does that mean, Abby? Why did we already know? How did we already know? Niney even claimed that you, you little Abby before you were born, came to her in a dream and told her the exact date you would be born, February 27, 2010. Can you tell us the winning lottery numbers now, little Abby?
That was a little joke, my precious girl. The fact remains, we knew you were coming before you did. Obviously, God has a VERY special reason for you to be here too. What that reason may be, well, only God knows.
Right now Mommy is giving you the nourishment you need to grow up big and strong in the years to come. I've already looked ahead and I've seen a beautiful, dark-haired woman with spectacular blue eyes looking back at me. You'll be tall, with a beautiful complexion that makes you the envy of many. You'll have a personality that is charismatic and true, and people will want to know you, just for you. You'll be hopelessly romantic, as any Pisces are, and you'll care more for others than even yourself. One day I hope to meet this fine young woman, but for now I'll enjoy the captivating moments of cradling you in my arms and watching your little dimples form as you smile everytime I gently rub the side of your face.
When I was two weeks old, Abby, your great grandmother, Maw Maw, wrote me a letter telling me about all that was to come in the world I was about to awaken to. She was a journalist for the local newspaper in our hometown and is still a gifted writer today. I want to share that letter with you now so her words can touch you the same way they have touched me. From one generation to the next, I give you these words as a gift, a blessing upon your generation. It is a chance for you to overcome what we have already learned the world to be. Some of it is scary, but necessary. Some of it is profound, and true. But all of it comes from the heart of Maw Maw and the love she had for me that she now passes on to you:
The following letter is written by staff writer Joanne Thrift, and is published here in the hope that it will be of interest to you. It is an open letter to her newly born grandson. He is the first son of Joanne's first son. Rick Thrift, one of our circulation department managers here at the Daily Mail. We publish this and similar staff produced items and because we would like you to get to know something about the people who write and edit your newspaper each day.
You are only two weeks old and it will be some time before you will be capable of reading this letter. But it seems appropriate to write it while the feeling is strong and the words come easily. Now you cannot understand and later when you can it will be harder to say.
There you are, sleeping as usual, with your eyes shut tight and occasionally what seems to be a smile flickering across your perfect little face, as you perhaps dream innocently or think your baby thoughts. As our first grandchild, you occupy a unique place in our lives. It seems such a short while ago that your father was our first baby. Such a short time that the memories are still vivid, unfaded... There were the times of pure joy and the nights of sleeplessness, the learning with the first baby. Now your father and mother will walk the same path, trace the same steps, but in their own way.
Has it actually been 18 years since the day I left your father at school for the first time, all alone. I can see him now, with his lower lip quivering as he lined up with the other first graders to march into Kennedy Street Elementary School. He looked around at me and his eyes were unhappy. But he didn't cry and he went in leaving me standing there all alone. He didn't cry but I did.
Now I look at you and I have this overwhelming feeling of continuity. And that's what being a grandparent for the first time means when you get right down to it. You think you will feel older but instead there is a new relationship with the young, a beginning over again. So this is a letter to the new generation, with all the love and affection one can give such a beautiful little being. As with each new generation, you will be facing drastic and unprecedented changes in old values and accepted standards of behavior. The new morality has created problems very different from those of only a decade ago. It's true you have a better start than some, with parents who are strong Christians and who intend to rear you in the church. But never before have young people been so exposed to drugs and the challenges to traditional morals being purveyed so bouteously by reading matter, movies and in some instances, companions. And there is the speed with which events move today to affect lives, ideals and behavior. Nevertheless, there are forces which always have been crucial for human happiness and the survival of a society and will be crucial as long as human nature remains what it is.
Jason, if you opt for honesty, fairness and consideration for others; if you are willing to make sacrifices to build a better society for yourself and for your children; if you will work vigorously to place in public office men and women of ability, honesty and devotion to the common good, there can be no doubt about the outcome. But what a load to put upon those tiny shoulders. Mass communication has made people aware of instances of crime and immorality to a degree that was not possible before.
Mine was the generation that grew up in the shadow of World War II. The things that troubled us most in high school were paper shortages, which meant we could not publish a high school annual, and gas shortages, which meant we could not take a senior trip. During war times, it was thought too frivolous to have a formal junior-senior, so we couldn't dress up for the occasion. Still we were forced to become adults at 17, because our males went into service at 18. They were considered manly enough to fight and die for the country then, but not old enough to vote for or against the people who said so. The great conflict not only caused it's disruptions of our populace. A river of money began to pour out to defense industries and this country was on its way to becoming the wealthiest the world had ever known.
The barriers that had imposed restraints on speech and conduct began to fall, one by one. People became accustomed to seeing four-letter words in novels and plays during the late '40s, and by the early '50s, an unfrocked Harvard professor had started a new religion based on hallucinogenic drugs. It began to be fashionable to take at least one trip on LSD and books and movies became bolder. Then in the middle '60s, a Supreme Court decision exempted from the definition of pornography any work having social or literary value.
As a child of the '70s, Jason, all of this will be just so much ancient history to you. You will live through your own time, make your own adjustments, become your own person. And your grandparents, in the flush of excitement over their first grandson, hope to be of some importance in your life. In preparation, we are thinking over again some of the standards we tried to attain in bringing up your dad, your aunt, your uncle-no overprotectiveness, an attempt at understanding, not being so closed-minded as to stereotype all youth in the image of the worst element, a try at communication and most of all, loving enough.
It's true that the youth cult developed in the '60s by advertisers who waked up to a field of potential new customers has created an age in which many of the young hold up to scorn persons over 30 and their works and ideas. And this, in turn, does not instill in persons over 40 any great amount of confidence in their ability to guide the young. But it doesn't stop us from trying.
So Jason, dream your baby dreams and enjoy your innocence. The world is out there. Just always remember, your grandparents, love you very much.
I think that says it all, Abby. Although some things have slightly changed today, the same problems remain. The world is a complex place and it takes equally complex people to face the challenges that our future holds. Yours is the generation that may have to find a better way of doing things, Abby. But isn't this always true of every generation?
So I leave you with these words: Do not worry, Abby. Always be true to one person in life, and that is yourself. Respect others, especially those no one sees fit to respect. Love everyone, not just those who love you back. Be slow to speak, and quick to think. Be willing to make sacrifices and do not judge others. Most importantly, never lose hope even when it seems to have slipped away at times. That's the beauty of hope, you only lose it when you give it away.
I love you Abby, Mommy loves you, your grandparents love you and your great grandparents love you. We cherish every moment we get to spend with you because according to some, you never should have been. Isn't it wonderful to know, you've already beaten the odds!