Archive for Discussion
What, exactly, is wrong with 911 being a day of service and remembrance?
This past weekend I read post after post by right-wing bloggers (well, the comments I read were at conservative websites so I presume the posters were conservatives) castigate President Obama for suggesting that 911 be a day of remembrance and service. OMG! One would have thought he said to “go shopping,” instead.
Not being one to jump to conclusions, I looked up the President’s remarks concerning 911 and, frankly, I want to know: what am I missing? Here are his comments in total.
Do you find anything in them that is offensive to the remembrance of those who lost their lives on that eventful day?
Eight years ago, on an ordinary Tuesday morning, nearly 3,000 lives were lost in the deadliest attack on American soil in our history.
It was an event that forever changed the life of this city. And it was a tragedy that will be forever seared in the consciousness of our nation.
Every year on this day, we are all New Yorkers.
We pause to remember the victims, to grieve with the families and friends of those who died, and to honor the heroes of that day and each day since who have sacrificed to save lives and serve their country.
We will never forget the images of planes vanishing into buildings; of billowing smoke rolling down the streets of Manhattan; of photos hung by the families of the missing.
We will never forget the rage and aching sadness we felt.
And we will never forget the feeling that we had lost something else: a sense of safety as we went about our daily lives.
The memory of those images and that vulnerability reminds us of the real and present danger posed by violent extremists who would use terrorism against Americans at home and around the world.
As President, my greatest responsibility is the security of the American people. It is the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning. It’s the last thing I think about when I go to sleep at night.
That responsibility is the heart of the policies my administration has put in place.
No one can guarantee that there will never be another attack; but what I can guarantee - what I can promise - is that we will do everything within our power to reduce the likelihood of an attack, and that I will not hesitate to do what it takes to defend America.
That is why we are providing the necessary resources and strategies to take the fight to the extremists who attacked us on 9/11 and who have found safe haven in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
We are investing in the 21st century military and intelligence capabilities that will allow us to stay one step ahead of our enemies, including increasing the size of the Army and Marine Corps.
And we have renewed our commitment to non-proliferation to prevent deadly weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists, launching an effort to secure all loose nuclear weapons and material around the world within four years.
We are also better protecting our border and increasing our preparedness for any future attack or natural disaster. We are building new partnerships around the world to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al Qaeda and its allies.
We have renewed American diplomacy so that we can once again lead the world to meet the threats we face. And in the policies and principles that guide our efforts, we are reaffirming a simple truth: that our strength as a nation comes not only from the might of our military, but also the power of our fundamental values.
Indeed, amid the carnage and heartbreak of that tragic day in September, we also experienced a profound sense of community and witnessed a vivid display of those values, as first responders raced toward chaos, as Americans lined up to donate blood, as young people signed up to serve their country - as old divides seemed to fade away and America stood as one.
Now, eight years later, it is that sense of common purpose we must recapture. That begins by remaining vigilant, by putting in place the policies that will best protect our security, by ensuring access to monitoring and treatment for the rescuers, as well as residents, workers and students, made sick by the toxic dust and debris that filled the air after the attacks, and by supporting the men and women in uniform who take risks and make extraordinary sacrifices to keep us safe.
But it does not end there.
That is why we are marking this Sept. 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. On this day, and every day, it is incumbent on each of us to uphold those ideals that our enemies were - and are - so eager to destroy.
To serve others and give back to our communities.
To respect our differences and to value what we share.
To remember that even when we disagree, and disagree strongly, that we are all Americans - that we are all striving to leave for our children a safer and more perfect union.
On this Sept. 11, as we reflect on this painful tragedy, let us also recommit ourselves to this historic task.
Do you find anything in the President’s remarks that is offensive to the remembrance of those who lost their lives on 911? If so, could you tell us what?
Where did this country go wrong?
Eight years after that awful day we find ourselves more divided than ever. In the only way I can, I want to bring back the memory of the “feeling of oneness” we had in the days immediately following that tragedy:
- the feeling of pride we all had in being an American
- attending my city’s spontaneous memorial service honoring all those who served in the armed forces, both past and present
- the millions around the nation who donated blood because, for many, it was a concrete way to help their neighbor, and, for some it was the only way they felt they could help their country in a time of national need
- the almost spiritual awareness of the brevity of life
- the importance of telling those closest to you how much you love them and appreciate them
And, the awesome resolve to punish the persons responsible for the attacks. Back then, they were the “enemy,” not fellow Americans who happened to have a different political opinion than your own. Mike Lupica of the New York Daliy News put it this way:
We promised ourselves we were going to be a better city and a better country because of what happened. We told ourselves that we knew what really mattered now. In the aftermath of the worst day the city and the country had known, we promised to find the best in ourselves, and in each other.
Read more of Mike Lupica’s article.
Voices of Division Were Absent
Rush Limbaugh’s voice was strangely absent during those days. Now we know he was dealing with his sudden hearing loss. There was no Glenn Beck to rant and rave and blame the Democrats for what had just happened. Some would argue that it was providence that they were absent from the national stage. Nobody can say for sure.
But, wouldn’t it be great if we could get back to those days right after 911 and remember who the real enemy is?
What US president said this in a nation-wide televised address to America’s school children:
Let me know how you’re doing. Write me a letter — and I’m serious about this one — write me a letter about ways you can help us achieve our goals. I think you know the address.
If you guessed President Barack Hussein Obama you’d be wrong.
It was Republican president George H.W. Bush back on October 1, 1991.
Read the entire speech here.
Watch a short video below:
And, how did the Democrats react to Bush’s 1991 speech? Democrats ordered the GAO to investigate Bush’s appearance and held hearings.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Here’s the bottom line: It’s time for both political parties to stop playing games and work to save this country.
Here’s what Rush Limbaugh won’t tell you: both political parties play political football with our nation’s children. The truth is, neither political party has a monopoly on
- the truth
- good ideas
- bad ideas
- or stupidity
And, if you think otherwise, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. No, make that Alaska.
Here are some things Rush Limbaugh will not tell his listeners about the Canadian Healthcare system.
Instead of using America’s valuable free radio airwaves to make inane statements such as “Obama wants us to have the same health care and plan he had in Kenya,” Rush Limbaugh could be leading an intelligent discussion about the comparative value of healthcare systems among the industrialized nations of the world.
For example, T.R. Reid wrote a wonderfully detailed and researched book titled The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care. T.R. Reid also wrote an article for The Washington Post published August 24, 2009. Read here.
To hear audio of a roughly 40 minute interview with T.R. Reid click here.
We love Rush Limbaugh. That’s why we created this website: we love talking about him and debating the ideas he talks about. However, American consumers are desperately trying to decide who is telling the truth about America’s health care system and proposed health care reforms.
Rumors, speculations,misinformation, misstatements, half-truths, and intentional distortions are wide-spread. One oft-repeated “fact” is how bad the British healthcare system supposedly is.
To help our readers get both sides of the issue, we have decided to include a report from someone knowledgeable about the British Health Service because he actually worked in it.
We decided that we could no longer wait for Rush Limbaugh, “America’s Anchorman” and “Truth Detector,” to level with the American people. We believe that to arrive at a good decision one needs all the facts possible. Then, after careful consideration of all the facts one is more likely to make a wise decision.
Whatever your position on the healthcare reform debate, don’t you agree it’s better to have the whole story before making a decision?
To read a transcript of this PBS interview go here.
Senator CHARLES GRASSLEY (Republican, Iowa): I’ve been told that the brain tumor that Senator Kennedy has, because he’s 77 years old, would not be treated the way it’s treated in the United States. In other words, they say, well, he doesn’t have long to live, even if he’d live another four or five years. They’d say, well, we’ve got to spend the money on people that have more, can contribute more to the economy.
INSKEEP: Okay. Does the British system make that kind of distinction? Here’s an older fellow, you’ve got this treatment that you could give him but it wouldn’t add massively to his life expectancy, so we’ll deny that. Do you do that?
Lord DARZI: Well, I’m sorry to say that’s the most ludicrous thing I’ve heard. I’ve heard that written down but I’ve never heard it in real speech. And the answer to that is absolutely no.
INSKEEP: So, Grassley’s comment is based on nothing, so far as you can say?
Lord DARZI: Absolutely - not just false, these are lies which have been used to set fear against reform.
INSKEEP: Ted Kennedy goes to Britain, he’s a British citizen, he’s going to get full treatment and that treatment is going to be fully paid for. Is that what you’re saying?
Lord DARZI: Absolutely, irrespective of the tumor type as well.
Check out this link for another perspective on the healthcare debate that you will not hear from Rush Limbaugh. Meet Maggie Mahar, who says:
What I learned, during those years, is that in our health care system, profits often trump patients. A great many people are selling and selling hard. By law, for-profit corporations are supposed to put their shareholders’ interests first: this means that they must strive to maximize profits. And this goes a long way toward explaining why U.S. healthcare is so expensive.
Visit Maggie Mahar’s blog at HealthBeatBlog.org.
I am reminded of a quote attributed to Frederick Douglass:
The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.
This nation is headed for rougher days ahead, I fear, if those who claim to be God-fearing, virtuous, and righteous use scare tactics to win political battles.
Back on April 16, 2008, then-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin had no problems with doctors and patients discussing end-of-life-decisions before the patient was unable to speak for themself. Palin even signed a proclamation to that effect. The proclamation reads as follows [empahsis added]:
WHEREAS, Healthcare Decisions Day is designed to raise public awareness of the need to plan ahead for healthcare decisions, related to end of life care and medical decision-making whenever patients are unable to speak for themselves and to encourage the specific use of advance directives to communicate these important healthcare decisions. WHEREAS, in Alaska, Alaska Statute 13.52 provides the specifics of the advance directives law and offers a model form for patient use.
WHEREAS, it is estimated that only about 20 percent of people in Alaska have executed an advance directive. Moreover, it is estimated that less than 50 percent of severely or terminally ill patients have an advance directive.
WHEREAS, it is likely that a significant reason for these low percentages is that there is both a lack of knowledge and considerable confusion in the public about Advance Directives.
WHEREAS, one of the principal goals of Healthcare Decisions Day is to encourage hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, continuing care retirement communities, and hospices to participate in a statewide effort to provide clear and consistent information to the public about advance directives, as well as to encourage medical professionals and lawyers to volunteer their time and efforts to improve public knowledge and increase the number of Alaska’s citizens with advance directives.
WHEREAS, the Foundation for End of Life Care in Juneau, Alaska, and other organizations throughout the United States have endorsed this event and are committed to educating the public about the importance of discussing healthcare choices and executing advance directives.
WHEREAS, as a result of April 16, 2008, being recognized as Healthcare Decisions Day in Alaska, more citizens will have conversations about their healthcare decisions; more citizens will execute advance directives to make their wishes known; and fewer families and healthcare providers will have to struggle with making difficult healthcare decisions in the absence of guidance from the patient.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sarah Palin, Governor of the state of Alaska, do hereby proclaim April 16, 2008, as:
Healthcare Decisions Day in Alaska, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.
Dated: April 16, 2008
Major Goals of the Proclamation
- Raise public awareness of the need to plan ahead for healthcare decisions related to end of life care
- Encourage the specific use of advance directives by severely or terminally ill patients
- Encourage health care professionals and institutions to provide clear and consistent information to the public about advance directives
- Encourage medical professionals and lawyers to volunteer their time and efforts
- To improve public knowledge about healthcare options and executing advance directives
- To have fewer families and healthcare providers struggle to make difficult healthcare decisions in the absence of guidance from the patient.
- Did Sarah Palin forget that she signed this proclamation barely 16 months ago?
- Did Rush Limbaugh, or his staff, fail to research her background on this issue before Rush Limbaugh wholeheartedly endorsed her?
- Is Sarah Palin adding considerable confusion to the discussion about healthcare choices in contradiction of her own proclamation?
- Is this just another example of Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin being against anything President Barack Obama is for?
- Doesn’t the American public deserve better from both these “leaders”?
Questions to Ponder
Sometimes, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, it’s a good idea to take a step back and remember what really counts and what life is really all about.
Here is a short timeout from our political discussions, healthcare reform townhall meetings, and general-all around-yelling-and-screaming bouts.