Saturday, May 16, 2009

Are you ready to bleed?

On May 13th I watched (on Democracy Now physicians and nurses arrested at the hearings before Senator Baucus on 'affordable' health care, at a symposium or meeting or whatever, from which advocates for single-payer universal health care were excluded. I had probably signed this previously from my other email address but it was watching these physicians nurses being manhandled by DC police that touched me...

I have for some time now been on waiting mode, because I was so proud when we elected Barack Obama and so hopeful, but I am sorry that whatever patience I had is running out, and goddess knows my patience has been running out for at least fifty years.

In August of 1968 during the famous march when MLK delivered his famous "I have a dream" speech, the youngest speaker was John Lewis, whose hand Obama shook first on inauguration day. Lewis said that day:

“This nation is still a place of cheap political leaders who build their careers on immoral compromises and ally themselves with open forms of political, economic and social exploitation,” and later he said that patience was "a dirty and nasty word. We cannot be patient, we do not want to be free gradually."

The promise of Obama was to have a bold new rule in DC; the actual performance, let's not kid ourselves, is certainly not new, much less bold. While the jury will be out for a long time on whether the current administration is made up of 'cheap political leaders who build their careers on immoral compromises...' watching the hearings and those brave nurses and physicians willing to be dragged out just so they could get some 'media time' reminded me of the kind of work we have to do. For my money (or lack of it), it has to be 'creative' civil disobedience.

The PDA has its website on healthcare not warfare, but in the link below you can find information on the national day of action on May 30th.

I have not had medical insurance since my divorce in 1995. I need to have two wisdom teeth removed, and the prices I have been quoted are outrageous, so I take aspirin from time to time and am very careful with what I eat... I can't afford health care, and I know that health care is A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT which should not depend on a person's ability to pay.

Malcolm X said that revolutions require bloodshed, but that people (in this case he was talking about the Black liberation movement) were afraid to bleed... Well, I am already sixty and my children are grown, and I am not afraid to bleed. What are we waiting for? While obscene budgets are approved for an enlargement of war in Afghanistan, while our bombing raids keep killing women and children and old men there, creating MORE terrorism, not less, all the change we were promised is going nowhere fast. But I do wonder if Obama is not playing the game FDR played, before he signed into law some of the most revolutionary programs ever to be developed in the US, including Social Security. FDR said at the time: "Make me do it." Can't you hear Obama saying, "Make me do it?"

So I am urging everyone I know to come up with ways to 'make him do it.' My priorities are simple:

1. End the war(s), all of it, NOW.

2. Prosecute the torturers and the writers of the torture memos (more on this later) - the hearings on the Justice Oversight Com. on C-Span are quite interesting. Write to Whitestone and Feinstein and Feingold and the guy from Vt. and thank them.

3. Make a stink that will put the single-payer option on the table, and get it passed!

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