Thursday, December 31, 2009

Did McGinn forget something?

On the November, 2005 ballot, there was a special item on the ballot that really meant something to the activists in our city.

City Of Seattle Advisory Measure No. 1 Health Care asked a basic question to the citizens of Seattle. "Is Health Care a Right?" 122,129 people, or 69.5%, said yes. 53,606 or 30.5% said no.

So now we have the incoming Mayor, Mike McGinn, whom my records say VOTED in that election, saying that he can't find a way to justify paying for some members of the outgoing Mayor's staff so they can keep their health insurance while they search for a job during the month of January.

This is not about broken promises. This isn't about money, which we can find if we need it. It's about a newly elected official not paying attention to the voices of the people he now represents. What do we have to do, have this initiative pass every single election for our elected representatives to be able to listen to it?

Health Care is a RIGHT, Mr. Mayor-Elect. You can bet that I will NEVER let you forget that.

Give these people the right to coverage during January while they search for a new job. Listen to the people of Seattle. Please.

Monday, December 21, 2009

I'm sorry if I offended you

You see, I'm one of those "tree-huggers" that they talked about in the movie "Avatar". You were walking ahead of us as my son and I walked from the movie to the mall for dinner. I was telling my son what I was thinking after watching the movie, and this is part of what I can remember.

"One of the messages from that movie was that mankind had already destroyed our own world, and we were moving from system to system trying to collect resources to take back to Earth to power our civilization. But that wasn't the language that was used. The movie said that we had already 'killed' our world. And they're right. If we don't wake up and change our way of life, that is what will happen. And it's up to you and your generation to make sure that we don't destroy this planet and make it uninhabitable."

You had your two sons walking with you, and as I told my son that it was up to him and his generation, I pointed to both him and the two boys walking ahead of us. Because that is what I believe. We are at a crossroads, and we have a choice to make. I continued, "Nature must be treated as a partner, not just a source of raw materials and resources."

And then you laughed. Snide, like "oh, great, one of those people". And I got pissed off. I will admit that I flew off the handle, but when someone laughs at me and what I believe, I go on the defensive.

"And anyone who laughs at that will die along with their children," I said.

Yes, that's what I said. Loud enough for you to hear it. Because your laugh disgusted me, hurt me, and I lashed out.

That's how deep my faith is. I read the news. I listen to the radio. I know how close we are to the point where it is too late to turn back the clock. Do we want our civilization to survive? Does it deserve to survive? If nature is just a bunch of dumb animals, raw plant matter and ore for mining and building, what's the point of life? What's the purpose behind G-d's creation if we can't (or won't) nurture it, protect it and watch it grow?

I don't need to be a scientist to know what James Cameron was talking about. In some ways I have felt it. Our own real scientists have seen the evidence of it in the Redwoods of Northern California. The bioelectric neural network from the movie doesn't quite exist, but I can see it. I would love for science to develop a way for us to connect to each other on such a deep level. Maybe that is what we need to wake ourselves up from this nightmare of dead roads and poison producing energy sources. I hope we're not too late.

Anyway, that's what happened, that's how I feel, and I'm not ashamed of what I believe. I'm just sorry I flew off the handle, and I hope you can forgive me.

Whoever you were.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

My health care message to President Obama

Mr. President,

The question should not be whether there is a public option or not. The question should be whether we allow the private option to continue. We cannot continue to allow the private insurance market to rape this country. And there is no nice way of saying it.

Only Single Payer will solve the problem of coverage. I would support a robust public option that moves us in that direction.

Sir, you MUST issue a VETO THREAT against any bill that reaches your desk without a nationally accessible public option without a trigger. You MUST send Senator Reid and Nancy Pelosi a message that only a robust public option will get your signature.

If you don't do this, if you sign a bill without a public option, then you will lose the support you built during the 2008 campaign. Everyone I know is frustrated, and is looking you for progressive leadership. Your political future is on the line, sir. Oh, and the lives of thousands upon thousands of people.

Please make the right decision.

Chad Lupkes