Elections, politics, Uncategorized

Lift Me Higher

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In less than two weeks, the United States has bombed both Syria (59 Tomahawk Missiles) and Afghanistan (1 MOAB “Mother of All Bombs”).

Currently, a large part of the Pacific Fleet is moving within firing range of North Korea, to intercept any missiles or nuclear test missiles they may fire during their upcoming anniversary celebration.

If we, the United States, intercept anything lobbed by North Korea, I cannot say for certain we’ll be here next Saturday to enjoy sunshine and soccer games.

North Korea is a desperate country. A large part of their population lives in abject poverty and is unelectrified. Money, what there is of it, goes into the military infrastructure.

Kim Jong-Un, the current leader of North Korea, is only 33 years old, and largely untested. He has been brought up to be revered as a god, as were his father and grandfather before him. He has purged his circle of anyone who might be threat to him, including relatives.

What we here in the west don’t really understand is that if Kim feels that he is being backed into a corner, in order to not be shamed in front of his generals and population, he will destroy South Korea and as much of Japan as he can before he is destroyed. North Korea has nothing to lose.

Most of us here in the United States, because we are oceans away from Asia, really don’t understand the Asian cultures. We’ve never had to deal with anyone even on our own soil who has nothing to lose. Our military intelligence concerning North Korea is sketchy; we don’t know how much weaponry or what types they truly have — do we risk destroying half of Asia to stop them from showing off a test rocket?

We are a larger, wealthier nation and as such, it is up to us to, pardon the expression, be the bigger man.

Diplomacy is still a better course of action instead of belligerence. North Korea needs food. It needs medicine. It needs the things we can provide through diplomacy, but we have to invest in understanding the Korean culture, and allow for deviation from isolation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Democrats, Elections, Health insurance, politics, Single Payer, Uncategorized

Requiem

For Pat from Paducah, who left too soon.

A few years ago I met a man who lived down in Paducah — it took us a long time to get to know each other. He felt I was too high strung and wound up, and I felt he was just another pompous ass; but we stayed in touch nonetheless.

I visited him just this past Martin Luther King day. He was upbeat and funny, between jobs, but still keeping up with his various contacts. He limped a little and said that his leg was swollen… but if he slept with it propped up, the swelling went down.

We got along great this time, he felt I was more relaxed and I found out he had a wicked sense of humor.

Life being what it is, some weeks went by and we didn’t chat, so I reached out to him.

And reached out.

And reached out.

Finally, I called, and his number was not working (okay, maybe he lost his phone again). The only thing left that I could do at this point was message his daughter via Facebook.

Pat died in his home February 25.

I can’t help but think that if we were a single payer health insurance nation, he might have gone into a doctor or urgent care, and had that leg looked at, but being between jobs, he was without insurance.

I’ve been “between jobs” and without insurance — you walk on eggshells because if you become sick or injured, you could incur doctor or hospital bills that could take years to pay down.

It’s time to seriously look at single payer health insurance for the United States. Physicians for a National Health Program defines single payer as “a single public or quasi-public agency [that] organizes health care financing, but the delivery of care remains largely in private hands.”

Additionally, “all residents of the U.S. would be covered for all medically necessary services, including doctor, hospital, preventive, long-term care, mental health, reproductive health care, dental, vision, prescription drug and medical supply costs.”

What this means is that even if you’re between jobs, or working part-time, you can still go to the doctor, or the hospital, or get new glasses. You don’t have to risk your life because you don’t have health insurance.

If H.R. 676 is not passed by the time I get to Congress, I’m going to re-introduce it. We have been world leaders before, but we’ve fallen sadly behind. It’s time to be a kinder nation, starting at home.

There’s plenty for all of us.