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Sunday, August 30, 2009

David Gregory's Tribute to Senator Edward M. Kennedy: Meet the Press

Today's August 30 episode of Meet the Press with David Gregory was one of the best tributes to an ordinary US Senator I have witnessed in my lifetime. Senator Kennedy's eulogy lived on in today's program.

Thank you to Mr. Gregory and to NBC for the extended coverage of Edward Kennedy's death and funeral. Viewers appreciated this poignant moment in American history where, as a nation, we voluntarily paused to reflect on our tumultuous past while lamenting about the future, absent the Kennedy family's beneficial influence.

Maria Kennedy Shriver was particularly eloquent in Gregory's interview.

Yet, the personal testimony and reflection of Kathleen Kennedy Townsend captured what I felt to be spiritually true. Townsend spoke about Senator Kennedy's Roman Catholic faith. She explained the meaning of Roman Catholicism's position on forgiveness, from a personally spiritual perspective.

Like the Kennedy's generational ups and downs, the Roman Catholic faith has overcome thousands of years of scandals and corruption. Most recently, of course, Catholics have been challenged learning about the years of inexcusable cover ups of priests who were protected from sexual abuse charges.

Townsend transcended those horrible black spots of abuse. Inadvertently, I suppose, Townsend put yet another dimension on the Kennedy family's legacy. Their personal family tragedies, triumphs, failings, shortcomings and victories in the face of extraordinary adversities are as tumultuous as the history of Roman Catholicism itself. Obviously, the Kennedy's don't need yet another burdensome torch to carry, but the connection does lead to philosophical thought about the nature and power of forgiveness.

Certainly, I'm neither a philosopher or politician, so this mighty thought about the parallel between being a Kennedy and a Catholic is certainly out of my comfort zone. But, as a blogger...oh well (!), I can bring up the subject for others to criticize or consider.

Meanwhile, the purpose of this blog is simply to say Thank You to Meet the Press, to NBC and to those who appeared on today's show. We prayerfully want to continue the dream, so hope, can, indeed, live on. May Senator Kennedy Rest in Peace.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Slan go foill - Gaelic Farewell to Senator Edward M. Kennedy

We mourn Senator Kennedy's death in August 2009, because his passing marks the end of a generation of events intertwined with our own lives.

Although the Lion of the Senate was a superb statesman representing the state of Massachusetts and our nation, his death is personally touching for those of us who grew up with the tragic events in the Kennedy family having a profound impact on our own lives. For example, I met my husband Richard in Baltimore, Maryland in November 1963, precisely because he was home from his job with the Navy and I was home from attending nursing school due to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. We all watched the assassinations of the Kennedy brothers and their deeply touching funerals. And, sadly, so on....

Senator Kennedy's death is a reminder of our own mortality as it forces us to recall how his life impacted our time on earth. Mourning his death is sadly nostalgic. It's like we are experiencing a collective Don MacLean deja vu, and "Bye Bye Miss American Pie" is not just a song but a prophesy. It's a prediction about how we need to live and improve our lives because, after all, "them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye; Singin', this'll be the day that I die".

Yes, it will be our turn one of these days.

So, what do we learn from the lives of the Kennedy's? To me their lives signify redemption because, regardless of all the terrible, awful, hurtful and vitriolic information circulated about them, they persevered. In spite of it all, they proved how much they cared about America.

Each Kennedy, every one to a person, worked hard to improve the human condition through a dedication to public service. They could have purchased an island in the Caribbean and given up on America, but they didn't. For their love of our country and their collective passion for helping others, I give a heartfelt thank you to every Kennedy in America's enduring politcal family.

For Ted Kennedy, I say "Slan go foill", which, I found in Gaelic means, "See you soon". It's an important phrase because, as we know by the calendar, my generation are the American Pie good old boys.

I can only pray another generation is lined up behind us American Pie folks, inspired by liberal thinking and with a passion for good works, in the same way the Kennedy's positively affected me.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Paying Senator Coburn with Our Tax Dollars to say whaaaa?

Meet the Press with David Gregory -the forum was Health Care on Sunday August 16, 2009. Senator Coburn (R) of Oklahoma responds to Mr. Gregory's question about the nasty tone of the health care reform debate. Senator Coburn says "we've earned" the nasty tone....referencing violence akin to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh who murdered people to show his opposition to government. Our tax dollars are paying Senator Coburn. Our outrage should be directed towards the money wasted in our obligation to pay his Senate expenses and salary.

I say Senator Coburn is instigating sedition by suggesting a civilized health care debate should be allowed as an excuse to become a debacle against our government. Even more surprising, Senator Coburn says he is a medical doctor. Using his physician's title, he says the quality of health care in the US is fine, just like it is. Well, Dr. Coburn must not read public health data. Americans, on average, have a shorter life expectancy than our European counterparts, where health care is expected as a right rather than privilege. Senator Coburn should have deplored the violence and, rather, supported civilized debate.

Following is the transcript from
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32420049/ns/meet_the_press/

I am calling for Senator Coburn to be recalled as a US Senator based upon his lack of opposition to violence against the government.

MR. GREGORY: All right. But let’s talk about the tone of the debate. There have been death threats against members of Congress, there are Nazi references to members of Congress and to the president. Here are some of the images. The president being called a Nazi, his reform effort being called Nazi-like, referring to Nazi Germany, members of Congress being called the same. And then there was this image this week outside of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, a town hall event that the president had, this man with a gun strapped to his leg held that sign, “It is time to water the tree of liberty.” It was a reference to that famous Thomas Jefferson quote, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” That has become a motto for violence against the government. Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, had that very quote on his shirt the day of the bombing of the Murrah building when 168 people were killed.

Senator Coburn, you are from Oklahoma. When this element comes out in larger numbers because of this debate, what, what troubles you about that?

SEN. TOM COBURN (R-OK): Well, I’m, I’m troubled anytime when we, we stop having confidence in, in our government. But we’ve earned it. You know, this debate isn’t about health care. Health care’s the symptom. The debate is an uncontrolled federal government that’s going to run--50 percent of everything we’re spending this year we’re borrowing from the next generation. You...

MR. GREGORY: That’s—but wait, hold on, I want to stop you there. I’m talking about the tone. I am talking about violence against the government. That’s what this is synonymous with.

SEN. COBURN: The, the—but the tone is based on fear of loss of control of their own government. What, what is the genesis behind people going to such extreme statements? What is it? We, we have lost the confidence, to a certain degree, and it’s much worse than when Tom was the, the, the leader of the Senate.

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Friday, August 07, 2009

Let the Shouting Stop and the Health Care Relief Begin

Comment to this blog posted at the end:
Isn't this outrageous shouting campaign the ultimate right wing irony? These recent "drown you out rather than talk", orchestrated demonstrations targeted at Democratic Congressional town hall meetings for the purpose of opposing health care reform, are acts of political desperation. The right wing is fabricating lies about your grandmother's right to hospice care, while throwing in evil and wrong minded references to Nazi Germany, just to get attention, like a child having a tantrum.

Radical right wingers who oppose health care reform are the first ones to point fingers at left wing liberals who acted out against the War in Iraq. Now, the shoe is on the right wings' foot. How dare they steal the liberal's techniques? They are imitating, in lemming-like droves, the progressive demonstrations they abhor in liberal activism.

This is the ultimate hypocrisy. Right wing nuts are throwing out deliberate misinformation for the sake of obstructing free speech for those who know better, derailing discussion and obstructing legitimate debate.

Right Wing nuts and Left Wing liberal nuts are falling out of the same tree when it comes shouting matches at public rallies, replacing civil discourse with ear piercing rhetoric.

If right wing shouters want to run our free government by noise levels, then we truly need a US Constitutional amendment to ban public debate exceeding ear damaging 100 decibels.

As for the Democratic Congress people exposed to this extremism, please hold your anger and just consider the source. It's of utmost importance for you to listen to reasonable debate while turning off the noise made soley for the sake of squelching the health care reform debate. Try using ear plugs.

Most important, stay the course and vote to support what's right for Americans who deserve 100 percent coverage and access to quality health care at affordable rates.

Call me if you need someone to shout louder than the crazy right wing obstructionists. Good luck.

Comment from Caroline Hartzler of Virginia:

Hi Julie,

I am appalled by all these ranting people. They haven't noticed that within the last 40 years the Republicans managed to strangle all efforts to improve their quality of life. These "conservatives" don't want big government but they certainly can't take care of themselves as they age. Those who stir this anger enjoy the "people power" they have unleashed; but, they do not reveal their own health insurance plan and how much they pay for it. Just like they don't reveal all the funding they receive from insurance companies and all other corporations liked to the medical industry.

They are screaming about socialistic medicine but they didn't notice that most of the large corporations have eliminated all the benefits from their pay packages and they have been left to fend for themselves.
Perhaps this is why corporate managers have larger salaries and bonuses than ever before.

And pray tell, these same ranting people have not heard about Advanced Medical Directives before??? Obviously, they aren't tuned to the level of sanity that has been advising us about the advantages of forethought.

Another topic dear to my heart-- gun control. It is so safe now in the U.S., that we should allow people to carry concealed weapons, even across state lines. It seems that no matter what the next newscast brings about random shootings, communities think it is happening far from them so there should be no gun control.

I become dismayed by the unhealthy American attitudes encouraged among all age groups. It is truly sad that the free American education promulgated through high school has not produced enquiring minds.

Ciao,
Caroline

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