Sunday, March 21, 2010

Obama, MLK, HCR, Tea Partiers, Civil Rights, & Change We Can Believe In . . . .



So this speech is amazing, not just because it is a good speech. I think it is truly transformational in the sense that it represents a profound change in the way Americans think about politics and the ability of politicians to actually help people instead of looking after themselves and special interests first . . . President Obama is certainly known for giving good speeches, but this one represents yet another turning point I feel in his presidency toward making meaningful and transformational change in American government, and by extension, the world. Perhaps if Americans are healthier, if we no longer have to worry so much about getting sick and not being able to pay for our treatment, we can be more engaged and present in the decision-making that goes on in our name. My hope is that we can say goodbye forever to the disengagement and apathy that seems to have defined the past ten to twenty years of American politics, maybe going back as far as the Reagan era, not just because of health care reform, but seeing health care reform as one more step toward a truly just and equitable society that lives up to the promise and possibility of the idealistic language used in the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution. My hope is that we are one step closer to realizing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s vision and dream of a free and peaceful society. Yet we have a long way to go yet, not least of which are the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that need to end as soon as possible . . . .



Which brings me to the deplorable conduct of the Tea Party activists that reminded many African American Representatives of their experiences in the Civil Rights movement and their work integrating schools . . . .

C-SPAN: "Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) on Tea Party activists using racial epithets toward members of Congress"

Rep. Ryan decries the horrible treatment of members of Congress by the Tea Party protesters, including Rep. John Lewis, who experienced similar treatment during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's, and Rep. Barney Frank. Democratic representatives give reasons to support the bill, measured with wishes of ways to improve health care in the future after the bill becomes law. Republican politicians follow with first a letter by the Texas Medical Association and then a long diatribe about how the American Medical Association does not truly speak for the majority of American doctors and that the Tea Party protesters were great patriots . . . and somehow that means that Democrats are demons and the representative actually uses the word Armageddon to describe the passing of comprehensive health care reform legislation, perhaps echoing the words of house minority leader Boehner during his tirade against Democrats and health care reform and support of the "Red Whatever-They-Are" astroturf Tea Party campaign financed and organized by the Republican party leaders and their friends in the health insurance industry. I never realized how much influence the health insurance lobby had in American politics until this past thirteen months of debate in the house and senate regarding health care reform. Yet now I think it is painfully obvious that the health insurance lobby has exorbitant influence in both the house and senate, and in both major political parties. The fact that the health care reform legislation is as the Democratic representatives describe as "middle of the road," illustrates just how far to the extreme right-wing conservative perspective the Republican leadership in the house and senate has become. I am not sure which caucus is more extreme, the Republican house or senate, but I do think that the house has certainly a big advantage as far as sheer numbers of unhinged opinionators and halfbaked conspiracy theories masquerading as intelligent discourse and "setting the record straight" of the "lies" of health care reform (yet the so-called "lies" really extend to whatever issue and subject that the individual extremist does not agree with, and to a greater extent the entire community of like-minded individuals within the Republican party mostly dominated by right-wing extremists such as the racist and homophobic Tea Party protesters currently).

Sounds like a madhouse with angry protesters threatening violence & hurling abuse at Democratic lawmakers . . . I wonder where the anti-reform Tea Party protesters get their wild ideas about how the government is going to "take over" their health care & turn the country into a communist / socialist / fascist state? It might have something to do with Republican / conservative lawmakers and media figures warning about those very conspiracy theories and halfbaked scaretactics championed by the likes of Beck, Hannity, and Limbaugh. Yet without other circumstances besides the conservative media figures and lawmakers such as Boehner and McConnell, I can't imagine that such a great proportion of the electorate would actually fall for such brazen lies and misinformation, except that the recession and poor economic situation has created a situation rife with possibility for unscrupulous snake oil salesmen to ply their nefarious trade & try to hold onto their own power and wealth, even though they would actually be richer literally and metaphorically if they didn't resist positive change, but participated honestly in reform for the health care system, clean energy technology, green jobs, disarmament, financial reform, peace, etc.

Peace everyone! And good luck! Let's keep working . . . Onwards toward peace, environmental sustainability and wisdom, and social justice for all the world, both human and nonhuman . . . a better world IS possible, and we are on our way . . . .


President Obama makes the case & sets up victory with humility & truth as antidote to demonization of health care reform as evil communist / socialist / fascist . . . .

Friday, March 19, 2010

My Open Letter to President Obama Regarding Disarmament & Peace

Union of Concerned Scientists: President Must Match Actions to Words on Nuclear Weapons

My Open Letter to President Obama:

Disarmament Peace Activism Lobbying Environment: Nuclear Policy Review Is Key to Our Future

The goal and vision of countless millions of concerned and conscientious world citizens for total global disarmament, peace, and justice for all life is not only a worthy goal and vision, but a necessary one for the future survival of the human species as well as nonhuman life on this our home planet Earth for seven generations and beyond, as the native and indigenous teachings and wisdom of the World offer us, if we will but listen.

The shared goal and vision of millions and billions of world citizens who so desperately need the safety and security that comes from a world free of weapons of mass destruction will hopefully ensure the speedy disarmament of all the weapons.

Thank you Mr. President for everything you have done, are doing, and will do in the future to help rid the world of these awful destructive things and ensure that they will never be used again. His Holiness the Dalai Lama so wisely recently prhased what I am trying to communicate, that we must all disarm within ourselves to achieve lasting world peace.

We need verification and transparency by all parties in order to ensure that the dream of global and international abolition and safety, peace, and security of a world free from nuclear weapons becomes a reality in the near term future.

Thank you for everything you have done, are doing, and will do in the future to make the vision of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi of world peace, freedom, and justice a reality. God bless you, and God bless the world.

Please work with Congress and your colleagues in the community of world leaders towards the shared goal and vision of a world free from the danger of nuclear weapons. Please listen to former General Colin Powell and former Secretaries of State George Schultz and Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of Defense Bill Perry, former Senator Sam Nunn, Queen Noor, and groups such as Global Zero and the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons.

Please stand up for democracy and against special interests and corporate lobbyists. Please work towards a peaceful, just, environmentally sustainable, free, and positive future for all American citizens, humanity, and the world.

We, all the world's countries and people, absolutely must disarm completely as soon as possible with verifiable and cooperative action and collaboration to work towards a truly peaceful, just, and compassionate future for all of humanity and the natural ecosystem of Planet Earth.

Thank you for everything you have done, are doing, and will do in the future to work towards the shared goal and dream of total global nuclear disarmament for peace, freedom, justice, and environmental sustainability, and all of the intricately interrelated and mutually interdependent requirements and necessities for the evolution and growth of the better world and peace that everyone wants and needs, the happiness and freedom that comes from having a future, peace and not destruction.

Thank you again and peace be upon you, your family, friends, community, and the world. Love must be our driving force towards imagining and creating a peaceful world and loving compassion for all humanity and nature together as one understanding, feeling, and knowledge of the essential unity of humanity with him/herself and the natural environment world.

*****

I applaud your strong and visible leadership in reducing the threat posed by nuclear weapons. I was particularly pleased that in Prague you called for "an end to Cold War thinking" and declared "we will reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy."

To realize that goal, I urge you to become personally involved in your administration's Nuclear Posture Review to ensure that it makes the needed changes in U.S. policy.

First, the review should clarify that the United States maintains nuclear weapons for the sole purpose of deterring the use of nuclear weapons by another country against the United States or its allies.

Second, the United States should remove its weapons from hair-trigger alert, which allows them to be launched within a matter of minutes. This opens the door to devastating accidents, which is simply unacceptable. The United States should make Russia aware of this new policy, and urge it to make similar changes in its policy and practices.

Finally, in the next nuclear reductions agreement with Russia, the United States should seek to limit the total number of nuclear warheads, and work towards the goal of complete disarmament, with as few weapons as possible, starting by reducing the number below 1,000 in the very short term.

*****

We should do everything we can to leave a world safer, more peaceful, free, just, and environmentally sustainable to our children and seven generations into the future and beyond.

With and For Peace, Love, Understanding, Freedom, Justice, Environmental Sustainability, Disarmament, Progressive Holistic Vision for a Better World for the Future and Seven Generations and Beyond.

Thank you for everything you have done, are doing, and will do in the future to make the world a better place and attain the dream and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and countless others: peace, freedom, and justice for everyone and the whole world.

I have faith and hope that together we can all work towards a peaceful, environmentally sustainable, and just world for the future, seven generations and beyond.

Peace, Peace, Peace Be Upon You, Your Family, Your Community, and the Whole World, Both Human and Nonhuman.

Sincerely,

Joshua Oakley

*****

Some Good / Interesting / Important Links for Information / Activism:

http://www.350.org
http://www.1sky.org
http://www.ucsusa.org
http://www.fcnl.org
http://www.peace-action.org
http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com
http://www.whitehouse.gov
http://www.ran.org
http://www.icanw.org/
http://www.globalzero.org/
http://www.greenpeace.org
http://www.worldwildlife.org/
http://www.nrdcactionfund.org/
http://www.sierraclub.org/
http://www.environmentamerica.org/
http://www.lcv.org/
http://www.greenforall.org/
http://www.americanprogress.org/
http://ruckus.org/
http://www.earthisland.org/index.php
http://avaaz.org/en/
http://www.amazonwatch.org/
http://www.globalexchange.org/
http://www.forestethics.org/
http://www.change.org/

Thank you for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful day / night depending on where you are in the world! Peace!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, & Movement Toward Meaningful Health Care Reform: A Good Day

The Value, Possibility, & Promise of Being Able to Move on to Other Important Issues Such as & Related to Peace, Environment, & Social Justice: Priceless.
So it appears to be a good bet that the health care reform reconciliation package will pass the house with Rep. Kucinich's vote (however reserved his support may be :)).



Not only has Dennis Kucinich changed his vote, he has changed my mind about his seriousness & progressive vision of the future both for America as a country & the whole world. I have a new respect for his commitment to helping the downtrodden & forsaken. The fact that he mentioned Native American philosophy of holistic health as well as his own vegetarianism when announcing his support for the health care bill makes me think Kucinich is probably rare in the political class, yet perhaps politicians will have the courage to be different than the stereotypical conservative ideal image of middle-aged typicality more & more as the years progress. The fact that we are very close to a historic expansion of compassion & care to millions of currently unprotected citizens, as well as working toward ensuring that the millions of currently insured citizens are not as brazenly exploited by private companies shows how far we have come over the past hundred years & more.  Well, in any case, Kucinich's switch seems like very good news indeed. Meanwhile on Fox News of all places (if you can even call it a news channel with a straight face), President Obama seemed to hold his own remarkably well given the unfriendly environment.









*****

I'm sure there is a lot I have missed that I would like to mention, yet I will add more later if I can. Thanks for reading! & to bid you all goodnight & good day (depending on where you are in the world), here is an amazing concert with Miles Davis & Keith Jarrett as promised in the title:






Kucinich Has Just Restored My Faith In Democracy, Or Something Like That . . . .








Bravo Mr. Kucinich! I was beginning to have my doubts about your commitment to moving our country forward toward a progressive vision of the future, yet now I see that you are wiser than many, and understand the oft-quoted maxim: "Do not let perfect be the enemy of the good." Here's wishing for speedy passing of the reconciliation bill, and good luck with future efforts to make the health care system even better in the years to come! I know it will be hard going, but that doesn't mean we can't get to the compassionate world that we all seem to want! Peace, Love, Understanding, Truth, and Beauty!


Looks like Howard Fineman was right last night on KO when he said Dennis would switch his vote because Dennis Kucinich held a presser this morning and said even though it's not the bill he wanted, he'll vote for HCR.
Dennis Kucinich is voting for HCR | Crooks and Liars

Beginning - "The Sleeper Must Awaken"

"A Beginning Is A Very Delicate Time . . . ." - Frank Herbert's Dune





I look forward to writing more in the near future. Good day everyone!

Joshua Starlight's Blog