Monday, November 16, 2009

Eyewitness Account Washington D.C.

Health Care Rally November 5, 2009

Wayne and I arrived in Washington for an extended weekend visit to the Smithsonian Museums arranged months ago. As God would have it this happened to be the day of the Citizen’s Rally against the House Bill on health care. Of course, as a writer and an American, who would be impacted, I wanted to check it out, and there was no holding back my husband.

As I walked among the crowd of thousands upon thousands while listening to the speakers on the steps of the Capitol, I wondered why had these men and women dropped everything to come on short notice of less than a week? Why the sacrifice of time and money by many who, according to their own admission, had never before been involved in politics?

I studied their faces, heard their comments and read the signs they carried to get my answer. Then I understood. They came to see if the concept that made America the greatest country on earth still works. These people had hope written all over them that the voices of “We the people” still meant something in Washington.

All ages were represented. A woman in front of me with green streaks in her hair and tattoos up one arm tended lovingly to a baby in a stroller while cheering loudly for the health care bill to be halted. One voice, one mission: legislators use common sense; do not abuse our trust. She eagerly accepted a bumper sticker being passed out, which I didn't understand at first - a yellow coiled snake with the saying "Don't Tread On Me." Later, I learned that was symbolic of the American Revolution when people told England to stop imposing impossible, unjust taxes.

Reliable polls had determined that the majority of Americans want the health care system improved but the majority do not want a government run system. These hard-working people feared receiving inferior and limited health care. Most doctors and other medical professionals have said this would follow as surely as the sun rises and sets and point to government systems in Canada and England as examples.

The House Health Care Bill is far reaching and proposes a system of gatekeepers to see if medical procedures and prescriptions doctors recommend are necessary. These gatekeepers may be government controlled doctors or lay people who will decide -how no one knows for sure - perhaps simply by quotas, or “quality of life” issues. Rally-goers wondered how adding another layer of bureaucracy could do anything but add more costs and inefficiency to health care and increase taxes for all.

In fact, the people we spoke with feared their backs would be broken with the total cost of government run health care and other new government programs being proposed. The people are scared by a financial burden beyond their ability to bear. Is this an exaggeration? Hardly. Our country has never in its history seen such runaway deficit spending. In the final bill passed late Saturday night a travesty would be executed against them - they will be responsible for more new debt of one to two trillion dollars. These people, like most, live by core financial principles. It would never in a thousand years occur to them that they should pledge to buy something they couldn’t pay for.

It shocked me to learn that in the bill citizens may be threatened with fines and jail if they do not buy the government plan. What an incredible violation of liberty that I MUST buy something – I can imagine our patriotic founders laughing at the thought!

But the worst aspect of all is the concern that we might have to participate in funding the murder of unborn children and speed up the demise of the elderly. Abortion is unacceptaable to the majority of Americans at every level. I believe it is the worst abuse ever foisted on women who suffer horrible physical and emotional complications from believing the lie that abortion is okay.

We encountered rally goers who also visited their own Congressional representatives in groups and individually beseeching them to rethink what they were about to do. Outside Nancy Pelozzi’s office a group gathered to crumple and toss to the floor pages of the 2000 page bill as they peacefully protested against abortion. Inside a little old priest lay on the floor in silent prayer and protest until he was carried out by three police officers.

On Saturday evening “We the people” watched as many of the men and women we’d elected broke every principle of sound financial management. I’m sure many who stayed through the vote gasped with dejection as the government passed a bill placing their families in a nightmare of debt. Fortunately Stupak's amendment stopped the abortion clause but only for a time. Watch out for what comes through in the end from the Senate!!!

No one has greater compassion for the poor than Wayne and I. However the poor are not served by creating more poor among us.

Other options for health care reform were totally ignored in this bill. Setting up state funds to help those who are unable to purchase insurance, as some states already have for those denied coverage wasn’t mentioned. No effort was made to curb excessive costs of medical malpractice. In fact, states that already had reforms in this area must eliminate them.

Some attenders believe that the reason for the Democratic government’s free health plan is a power play. If most people are dependent on the Democrats, they will also have control of their vote. Might this be true? However, it’s not the politics that concerns me as much as the lack of common sense in coming to a solution to this problem.

One thing is certain: The American people should not be subjected to the hypocrisy of legislators who create a health program that they refuse to personally participate in!

It’s as if the enemy has infiltrated our government and the enemy is within. People are scared by the direction our country is taking. Is America being destroyed by the actions of those who were supposed to guard it? Sad, but true, “We the people” seem to have lost our voice as we’re being changed into “We the government.”

But not yet. And we must continue to express our concerns and do all we can to keep this country fiscally sound and socially responsible for the needs of ALL AMERICANS.

Just a few thoughts, dear ones.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

November Fun

After finishing the manuscript for my new novel 99, I celebrated by taking a trip with Wayne, my traveling buddy-hubby. We observed the passionate people's Health Care Rally in D. C. on Nov. 5th in opposition to the current House Bill, then attended an evening lecture by Tim Keller at the National Cathedral of the Episcopal Church. How inspiring to see 1000 young adults and thirty and forty somethings absorb his message to beware of false idols of wealth and possessions. (I highly recommend checking out Tim Keller's website and downloading some of his powerful free podcasts.)

The International Spy Museum was fascinating and provided research for a future suspense plot. We were enthralled by each of the Smithsonian Museums and walked to, fro and within each about five miles daily, praying often throughout the day. (We value prayer-walking ever since our time volunteering for Campus Crusade.) The highlight of our trip was all the fascinating people we met as we rode the Circulator bus, spoke with fellow travelers in our hotels, toured the Capitol, etc. We splurged on one night downtown D.C. at the elegant Hotel Monaco hob-nobbing with lobbyists and legislative aides and praying as we conversed.

After D.C. we spent three days in Williamsburg studying the factors that led to the American Revolution against the loss of liberty and the excessive taxation that England imposed. What an interesting parallel to contemporary politics. Then off to Virginia to visit our son and his wife and our five-year-old grandchildren.

We live in a great country filled with awesome people. May it thrive ever more in the years ahead.

What a gift of joy this trip has been - much laughter, mind-stretching experiences, spectacular education - I'm filled with gratitude - such an outstanding prelude to Thanksgiving!
May yours be extraordinary!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Birthday Thoughts

You young things hang on, because the years roll by with breathless speed.

All of a sudden, like me, you'll find yourself in the senior ranks, and the delightful surprise is it's quite fun after all. The opportunity you have for reflection that the hurry-scurry years seldom allowed is great. Yes 60's are all in all quite a nice place to be.

I recently took the time to ponder what 67 feels like.

Life for me has been less a self-planned unfolding of my choices as I used to pompously believe and more an intentional journey with God. A release, a freedom to day by day plunge into the unknown, ordained by Him. And then hanging on tightly and delighting in the tour He's planned.

New options appear at every season for walking through open doors God has placed before me. Entering isn't scary any more. I'm always eager to respond to anything that might be of Him.

Sometimes I start leaping too fast as St. Peter often did. But then my husband, Wayne, reminds me he became the first Pope. So Wayne's taken to calling me Popette. But always I'm guided, sometimes with a thump, back to the reality God has intended for me in every course of this feast of life.

Over the years I've learned a few important things about me that change the way I view everything:

I have no giftedness apart from what our God has placed within me.

I have no desire for riches except to use them for God's work in the world.

I have no need of anything that He hasn’t provided.

I am among all women the same but different because I KNOW I am richly blessed with treasure that cannot be lost or stolen.

How I praise my God who has birthed His love and wisdom within me!

My goal is only that I may honor Him adequately with these brief days of life.

And leave a legacy of truth and strength for generations to come.

I embrace fully the heritage I received, including my family's history of alcoholism and dysfunction, but also one of faith and creativity and love, all of which I desire to sent forth into eternity.

In EVERY SITUATION, I bow to the one who made heaven and earth and me and I say Thank You for dwelling in me. And for giving me a power to laugh at life and see the sparkle in each person. And thanks for instilling in me a few talents to invest for the Kingdom to come.

Happy Birthday, Me!