March 2010

Don’t get too excited. Fewer people will be killed now, but we still are under the thumb of healthcare for profit. This is the beginning of a process towards relief, not the end. It only took 100 years to start. Everything else, I’ve already said.

I can only imagine what’s next.


What’s next was lawsuits. Really? Lawsuits?

The talking-heads on TV wanted us to believe that being governmentally- forced to pay for private insurance was unprecedented, unconstitutional,  and unreasonable.

What? Did these idiots forget how to drive?

We are forced to purchase CAR INSURANCE to be allowed to drive. Remember CAR INSURANCE?  I guess that little fact is easy to overlook when your driver takes care of those ‘plebian’ issues and you don’t have to drive yourself anymore.

Oh..what’s this, State’s Rights, now? More complaining!?  I’m very skeptical that these tea-party fools are all that patriotic toward their particular state, if they even know which one they’re in.  It isn’t 1790.  We don’t negotiate individual state treaties with other countries anymore. We have a functioning central government, whether you like it or not. State’s rights aren’t at issue. Remember, our government, whether it be township, state, or federal, has the opportunity to organize creation of those necessary goods and services to the public that business can-not or will-not provide.

Only one state out of 50 provided it, and it works (sorry FoxNews). The rest of us are still were dying.

I was hoping to see what the next piece of legislation  would be. More healthcare reforms? Campaign reform? Bank reform? Did I just hear whispers about prepaid credit cards???

Nope. Just Lawsuits.

Republicans have until November to ensure no one sees any benefit from healthcare reform. If they can delay the process until then, the public will forget the process and be more than happy to believe Republican party line. But, if the public sees real, tangible benefits from the law, and increases in GDP allow the deficit to stabilize, the insane rhetoric and lies of the republican media machine will be shown false in front of the entire country. This will kill the party in the elections for a long time to come.

Expect a 6-month media push from Republicans unlike anything this country has ever seen before.

Today was Johann Sebastian Bach’s 325 birthday, or would have been if he’d lasted to 325 years old. The Sandusky Ohio chapter of the American Guild of Organists held a little show in honor of the event. Several local organists provided some music in a series of churches across the town. Being a fan of Bach, pipe organs, and Bach played on pipe organs, I decided to take a listen.

Although Sandusky did boast one stop on a recent northern Ohio tour of the international Organ Historical Society (of whom I was a member, for a day), the 3 churches that me and about 100 fellow tour-mates enjoyed were not on that particular list. These were not world-class instruments, nor the organists national stars. However, they put on a good show, for the most part.

Honestly, being very  picky about Bach performances (especially on the organ), I almost didn’t make it to the second venue. At one point, I remember gazing at the well-suited old man sitting patiently a row in front of me, his wispy white hair no longer able to hide the hearing aid firmly embedded in his skull. I remember envying him in the knowledge that his ears had an off-switch. (more…)

This is my wife’s niece, Rhea. Today, she leaves her home in the Philippines that she shares with her parents, for a job in Saudi Arabia. Many Filipino’s make this trip every year. But, this doesn’t make the trip any less dangerous. Along with her travel documents and assignment information, she’ll also be issued one other mandatory article for her job. A burka. This is real, now. And, I’m worried for her.

She’s travelling to a state where women already have fewer rights than men. Though not exactly taliban-country, it still imposes many restrictions that we in the west would find incomprehensible. On top of that, she’ll be a foreigner without rights, in a land that doesn’t speak her language, with no friends to help, and nowhere to run if something bad happens. She’s pretty, young, and totally alone. You can do the math. All this, for a few dollars more than what she currently makes as a nursing assistant.

Her mom thinks this is a bad idea.

My wife thinks this is a bad idea.

I know this is a bad idea.

I’ve seen the travel shows. I understand that Saudi Arabia isn’t as fundamentalist as other countries, and it doesn’t have a history of grinding it’s foreign workers into the ground like, say, Qatar or Dubai. But, Saudi history with foreign workers is still very grim, and reports of abuse are rampant. Also, she’s traveling to a Muslim country during the greatest wave of fundamentalist Islam in decades. And, has no way out once there.

I hope this will end as an adventure, and not a mistake. I hope she finds many new friends and her new work profitable. And most of all, I hope to see her safely back home again. Safe travels, Rhea.

Saudi Arabia photo courtesy of

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