Monthly Archives: November 2010

Managing Anger

Arun Gandhi recommends using an anger journal to help control anger. I knew I needed one when I caught a story of the people that were stranded on the cruise ship. They had been without electricity for 24 hours and couldn’t flush their toilets. They had plenty to eat, but it was of rescue rations quality. And they complained about that.

What made me mad was that Haiti’s been without electricity for way longer than that, ditto for any sort of toilets, and they’re eating sand when they can’t get the rescue rations. There’s a nation that’s been adrift, thanks in large part to the 19th-Century prejudices of France, England, and the USA, and thanks even more to 20th-Century US support of horrendous dictators, and the news ignores them. When there’s a slow news cycle, do we revisit Haiti? Or the Ninth Ward of New Orleans? Or Darfur? No. We do not. We get shark attack stories. We get them because they help sell ads.

The love of money is the root of all evil, and there’s the reason behind the terrible way mainstream media reports news. If it doesn’t attract sponsors, they don’t run the story. That’s why there won’t be any huge investigative report into the financial collapse: the criminals that brought it down on us are major commercial sponsors. It’s exactly parallel to the way a drug dealer will spread his money around town, so the locals lose sight of the fact that every dollar is stained in murderous blood.

That makes me angry, and I have to find a way to manage that anger or it will destroy me.

My Take on Health Care

After spending a good deal more than 9.5% of my family’s income on health care this year, with a good-sized chunk of that amount going to a health insurance plan that’s gutted its benefits since I first enrolled, I’m now ready to enter the ranks of the uninsured. I don’t see the existing reform as a source of hope for me, nor do I see any alternative the Republicans suggest as hopeful, either. I see both parties pandering to lobbyists and that’s not going to be good for anyone.

I don’t care about being able to keep the doctor of my choice. I can’t afford to see the doctor of my choice. I already take my kids to a school clinic for their immunization shots and if I plan to travel anywhere exotic, I’ll see the county health office about getting my inoculations there. Otherwise, I’m not able to go to the doctor. I have to use that money to pay off my debts – house, car, college loans, credit cards. At least canceling my insurance will get me some extra money to pay those off faster.

This is the problem I face: I’m poor, and I’m living in a land that rewards the rich. It doesn’t matter who I vote in, within a matter of days or weeks the poor sap is going to be surrounded with lobbyists that will turn him to their way of thinking. If that doesn’t happen, no problem: they’ve already got their hooks in everyone else.

Without health care reform, I’m still faced with a choice of paying lots of money for an insurance policy that does nothing or not paying for any insurance and taking the attitude that we go when we go and that’s that.