I applaud Superintendent Steve Enoch's reasoned and thoughtful letter sent to the valley's parents regarding our President's address to students on Sept. 8. Our country's children need to hear from everyone parents, coaches, teachers, pastors, elected leaders about working hard, staying in school, setting goals and dreaming big.
In the 1960 election, my husband's parents, staunch Republicans, voted for Nixon. The day after JFK had won and the newspaper announcing the winner lay on the kitchen table, my then young husband voiced his displeasure with a "Boo." My husband recalls being scolded like he had never before or after. His parents told him that showing disrespect to the President, the office and the election process was unpatriotic and un-American; President Kennedy would be shown the honor he deserves in their home even though they did not vote for him.
Patriotism is loving your country even when you don't get what you want.
Tragedy of Sept. 11
The tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, is not a single event limited to that day. Thousands have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan as result of it, as we allowed the Bush administration to attack the world in response to the actions of a handful of criminals. In wars that can win nothing, we are victims and all of us have died, if only in our humanity, since that day. We must re-set our reality in the world as a vengeful nation and unreliable business partner and work very hard to overcome that reputation.
On a late May 1967 morning, just after midnight, two young soldiers died in Vietnam while I tried to comfort and save them. In a promise to one, I shall never repeat the Pledge to our Flag. Since 1967, I have stood at parade rest and silently said a prayer for all those that our wars have taken from us. In 2005, I stood at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., and said a long, heartfelt prayer for every person named on that wall including friends among them.
That prayer is a sacred respect for what the flag means to each of us that served. We must focus on resolve and not war, strength and not violence, and humanity and not confrontation.
Healthcare status quo unacceptable
Thanks for your coverage of people protesting the proposed health legislation. They are clearly satisfied with their current health care, and don't want any changes. Unfortunately, this is a very shortsighted view. They do not see that the current system is not viable. Health care costs are strangling our economy. Our business competitiveness, educational system and government services will continue to suffer unless this problem is addressed. Not only individuals, but every firm, school district and local government is struggling with the costs of health care. Eventually, everyone will be affected by higher costs and/or reduced services that are not directly related to health care.
Even the Republicans admit that the system must be changed. So, the question isn't whether changes should be made, it is a question of how to make those changes. The protesters are missing the opportunity to shape that change and have their voices heard. The status quo is not an acceptable answer. No one wants to see their premiums given to insurance executives making $20-plus million a year.
Simple proposals address healthcare
Several readers wrote in recent weeks in support of the healthcare "reform" proposals now being discussed in Washington, D.C., urging us all to get behind them. While most people would agree there are areas of our healthcare system that could be improved, how on earth do these supposedly intelligent people conclude that the only solution is to embrace the bloated, heavy-handed, and really expensive proposals now in Congress? For example, why don't we just ease the requirements to qualify for Medicaid (an existing federal-state program that provides healthcare benefits to low income people) so some of the "uninsured" can get coverage, and why not do something about the current tort laws? (Ask your own favorite doctor how much she pays for liability insurance, and how many tests he orders "just to avoid the possibility of a future lawsuit?") Don't you think addressing these two points alone would (1) provide coverage to lots more people while (2) reducing the costs of care?
Do any Weekly readers really think that the Congressional Budget Office projections of a $10 trillion dollar deficit over the next decade (more than that run up under all previous administrations from George Washington to George Bush combined) is "caring for our children and grandchildren?" If so, do you also still believe in the tooth fairy?
Single payer would be better
With the passing of Ted Kennedy, one of our greatest champions of health and social justice, we must work even harder to see to it that civilized, quality healthcare becomes a reality for all Americans. Let us all work to receive the same quality healthcare that our senators and congressmen receive.
Contrary to what you've been told, single payer healthcare is not only less expensive, but people of all ages get better healthcare throughout their lives. No longer would you be tied to a job because of health benefits. Now that's freedom!
There will be a showing of the film, "Sick Around the World," which demystifies single payer, at 7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 19, at the IBEW Hall, 6250 Village Parkway in Dublin. Sue Bergman from Healthcare For All (California's single payer movement) will speak after the film. Come and see for yourself how wonderful America would be if we stopped listening to the insurance companies.
We all deserve healthcare
America is about choices. Everyone deserves access to high quality and affordable healthcare. The current healthcare reform legislation provides choices for everyone. If you like your current plan and doctor, you will be able to keep it. However, reform is not about having health insurance; it is about having access to quality healthcare. For Americans without insurance, this is currently not an option. Every American citizen deserves healthcare. We need the public option to provide this basic right to citizens. The status quo is un-American and cannot be sustained.
I recently participated in a town hall on the phone with U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney and filled-out a survey in June on his Web site. I thank McNerney for reaching out to hear our ideas and supporting healthcare reform.