Silence about Children Speaks Loudly

Once again my fundamentalist Christian family and friends are silent. Children are being taken from their parents by our country! Yet I hear nothing from the same people that loudly speak up against all sorts of things they believe are wrong with this country. How can they not speak up about this!

Even some of their own leaders see this is so wrong that they have gone on record to say so! But those same leaders are not asking their followers to speak up. And that seems to be “code” since they usually do incite their followers to speak. So these “Christians” remain silent and nothing is changing.

How did we lose sight of the fact that we too are the children of immigrants? Our forefathers came to escape oppression or just have a better life. And they are almost always Christians themselves in this case! Why do we somehow think we are entitled and they are criminals and their children animals?

Embarrassment in Lack of Character

I am truly embarrassed by our current President in the US! And deeply saddened that so many continue to support him!

I don’t remember Nixon, as I was too young, but he was clearly embarrassing also. I don’t really remember Ford either, but I’ve never heard any reason to say any similar thing about him. I start to remember some of Carter, and I recall many thought he was out of his league, and that the country was embarrassed in some ways. But I don’t recall ever hearing anything remotely disparaging about his character – he was a good man.

I came of age meanwhile while Reagan was President, and while he was far from perfect, he was not an embarrassment. I would even go so far as to say he was a great example of leading by inspiration, even for those that didn’t always agree. The first Bush was rather boring in contrast, but again he was never an embarrassment in any way. His lack of being inspirational didn’t help when the economy tanked, but he was a good man.

Clinton is a tougher one for me, as I found him an inspirational leader – but in the end we should admit he was an embarrassment. Maybe that started the situation we are in now, where lot’s of us were willing to support him even when we should not have. We can say it wasn’t as bad, and I suppose that is true, but it’s a slippery slope that we enabled. Now its harder to call out the embarrassment we have, even though it is very different!

The second Bush was a buffoon, and the country was embarrassed in some ways, but he was an honorable man. The sad thing is that maybe this also continued us down that slippery slope, since it showed character and leadership were unrelated the other way. Obama was both inspirational and a man of great character! And I find it deplorable that so many could not separate policy differences from character and leadership.

I however cannot fathom how so many people are not totally appalled by Trump! He is truly the worst case since he is a complete embarrassment in both character and leadership! I do understand that there are very real disagreements over policy today, but that really is not the issue at all with this man. At least Clinton was inspirational and the Bushes were men of character – but the current President is neither!

To me this has nothing to do with party or policy – the President is simply a very bad leader, and a morally bankrupt man!

Affordable Healthcare Should Not Be This Difficult

Affordable healthcare – it really shouldn’t be this hard when there is so much agreement. Nearly everyone agrees seniors, children, and disabled should have access. And the same goes for those with pre-existing conditions. Workers and their spouses should also, even if there isn’t agreement on how, or whether or not it should be required.

About the only groups of people there are disagreements about are non-workers that can work and non-citizens. But even there we already have a standing “understanding” that anyone that comes to the emergency room will be treated. So we implicitly provide some level of healthcare to those, even if its the least effective and most costly.

There is also agreement that costs should be lowered. The informed on both sides agree that implies we should do something about those uninsured groups that get the most costly care. Similarly, the informed on both sides agree mathematically that means we need to get the uninsured by choice in the system also, since that spreads the costs out.

There is also high agreement that things like preventive care will lower costs in the long term. Similarly for reproductive benefits for women and mental health benefits and so on. Again, there is disagreement on the how, or whether it should be required, but the principles are agreed upon by the vast majority of informed on both sides.

I could go on – but the point has been made. So what are the problems then? There are details like universal or mandates that may appear to be significant. There are also religious or other objections about some of the specifics. But the agreements are so high, and the possible solutions so few, that those usually cited issues don’t really cut it.

The real problems are selfishness and ignorance! We want more benefits, but don’t want to pay more. We don’t want to give more to others that we don’t understand, assuming they are free-loading or otherwise undeserving. I know people that don’t have insurance and get the expensive emergency room option that think its others and not them!

Its not just people either. The insurance industry has no reason to change. Big businesses know that providing non-transferable insurance is part of employee retention. Politicians have no reason to do anything tough if they want to be re-elected. Even many of our “news” outlets are now all about pushing their agendas and not the news.

The loudest with agendas acting selfishly do everything they can to promote ignorance. Universal is socialism which is communism. Mandates are taxes and unconstitutional. States have rights and do not have to expand coverage. Blah blah blah! Do we want to fix it or not? There is significant agreement and only a few possible solutions.

Let’s Talk about Suicide and the Right to Die

Suicide has been in the news this week. I absolutely agree that depression and mental illness can and should be more readily treated. I very much do think that too many people, especially teenagers, wrongly choose suicide. They unfortunately think it is the only answer, or at least the easiest answer. And again I strongly affirm that is something we must do more to prevent!

Yet I also believe in the right to die. And I have heard many others say similar things in casual conversations. Its not at all unusual to hear people mention they might not want to keep living in their old age, depending of course on how they feel physically. And they are not just talking about the terminally ill cases! We simply live longer today than people ever did before.

It is often stated that we need to be able to talk more openly as a society about depression and mental illness. I agree whole-heartedly! But how can we do that if we won’t talk openly about suicide too! Can someone really talk about depression openly, and wanting to end it all, when it is assumed right away that suicide is always wrong. That’s not a conversation at all!

So if we are going to talk about depression openly, then let’s also talk openly about the right to die. I think the willingness to talk openly and acknowledging a right to die would make it easier to talk about depression too. And the more open talking going on, the more likelihood that we will prevent unnecessary suicides that happen because people don’t get enough help.

And yes, sometimes I think such an open conversation won’t stop a suicide. But at least with that very real and honest discussion it will be something that can happen “better”. Why should the family and friends be surpised? And why should people be forced to hang themselves and leave their loved ones the trauma of finding them? Why can’t we provide a cyanide pill instead?

Please note that I am not saying anyone should ever agree that suicide is the easy answer. I am just suggesting an honest and open talk that also does not assume it cannot be the answer. Such a talk will usually go further to help someone feel loved and realize they are not at the point of no other answer. While also helping family and friends understand why it sometimes is.

I personally am very happy with my life right now. But sometimes I do get tired, and I don’t mean tired as in sleepy – tired of living. I hope that if I ever start to be more tired than happy that I can talk about it. That will likely lead to help with changing things up that will enable more happiness than tiredness. And if I finally get old enough (to me) that I’m too tired, then so be it!