17 September 2008

Happy Constitution Day

221 years ago today, The Constitution of the United States was adopted by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. It would take a year and a half for enough states to ratify the new document to allow a new government to set to work under its guidance. It would ultimately take almost 3 years for the constitution to be approved by all 13 of the original states.

It seems fitting to me that I'm thinking about all of this as I watch the HBO mini-series John Adams about the life of our second president and his long-reaching influence on our developing nation. If you've not seen it, I recommend it. The performances are excellent, and there is much emphasis on the principals of the constitution and the ideals of our founding fathers.

12 September 2008

Politics: Health Care

Do you know someone who doesn't have health insurance? There's a stigma attached so it's possible that they've not mentioned it. It might be better to ask yourself other questions. Do you know someone who is self-employed? Do you know someone who is trying to run a small business? Chances are, they don't have health insurance. The statistics, which I'm feeling too tired and disgusted to look up at the moment, are staggering. But we're not actually talking about statistics here, we're talking about human beings whose lives are at stake. As one of the wealthiest nations in the world, a nation with med schools that aspiring doctors from all over the world flock to for training in their chosen field, it is inexcusable that every day in this country people die who don't need to because they don't get the preventative care that they need. They suffer with pain and go to work every day as it eats away at them with no idea of what is going on because they cannot get a diagnosis without a magic card.

My cousin had surgery today. After months and months of dealing with a degenerative problem, he finally managed to get in to see a specialist who would give him an appointment knowing that he didn't have insurance. That appointment with the specialist was about a week ago. In the last week, my cousin has racked up untold thousands of dollars in medical debt for a surgery which was his only alternative to life-long paralysis.

I didn't sleep well last night, thinking about what was ahead. Now I'm fighting to stay awake as I type this. There was so much that I wanted to say and so many eloquent points that I needed to make. What it boils down to is "Someone in your life does not have the medical insurance that they need in the unlikely event that something catastrophic happens to them." Their future and their health are riding on the results of this election. McCain and Palin want to further privatize healthcare and allow market forces to bring the pricing down.

What will happen to the nation's working poor, to those being laid off by plant closures and those kids coming out of college having trouble getting jobs? Can we as a nation and a society really afford the human costs of Laissez-faire healthcare?

I wish that I could stay awake to really talk about this, but I'm fading fast. Maybe I'll be clearer headed tomorrow.

06 September 2008

Sprout's first week of "preschool"

Originally uploaded by madaise
Tuesday was Sprout's first day at the Boonshoft Discovery Museum's Kaleidoscope preschool science program. When we arrived to pick her up after "school" on tuesday morning, and I asked her what she'd done during the day, her answer was, "I fell in love today." When I asked Miss Robin, her teacher, how Sprout had done on her first day I was told that she already had a boyfriend and that the two of them were inseparable. "I'm gonna have to keep an eye on those two." To have this followed by Sprout's assertion that she had fallen in love was cute, if a little disturbing. She apparently bonded with one of her classmates over a shared love of the Ramones and her shoes. To give credit where credit is due, her shoes are really, super cute.

With some gentle coaxing, I was eventually able to learn that they had built walls out of coffee cans, had a snack of "fruity smiles" and cheeze-its with apple juice, met some fo the museum staff and played a game called "skunk in the barn yard" and learned a bit about skunks.

Thursday it was a little easier to get information from her. She had fruity smiles and pretzels (with apple juice, again) and they went on a nature walk outside. They did an experiment with pipes and talked about water treatment. When we picked her up, Sprout cried. She didn't want to leave. She didn't want to wait until Tuesday of next week to see her friends and her teacher.

She's so excited about "school" that she can hardly contain herself. I'm trying to find things to keep her busy in the days between her school days so that it doesn't seem quite so much like she's living for Tuesdays and Thursdays. Wednesday of next week we're going to a MetroParks nature passport event at a nearby park. The event includes a discussion of tree identification and a nature walk. I'd hoped that her daddy would be able to take her and I'd be able to get some work done but it doesn't look that way. He has early morning teleconferences 3 days next week and will be dropping her Tuesday and Thursday on his way into work.

On a less pleasant note, we're going to be a 1 car household again for a while. The Radio Flyer was in a minor accident on Thursday evening. No one was hurt but our little red wagon has been forced into retirement. Fortunately, the repairs to Rosie went well and she's gonna have to be ok for her (hopefully temporary) promotion to primary vehicle.

05 September 2008

Politics: Fair Warning (aka I've lost my resolve)

I'm finding that, the closer we get to the election, the more difficult it is to separate my political passions from the rest of my life. Frankly, I don't really want to. So I have to ask myself, why am I trying so hard to keep the politics off my blog? Am I afraid of offending potential customers? (That can't be it, I'm doing nothing to attract customers and have little to offer a customer when they stumble across my work on their own.) Am I afraid of loosing friends? (Everyone who knows me in the "real world" knows where I stand. I seldom have conversations with any of them that don't touch at some point on something related to current events.)

I'd like to offer a compromise. I will make every effort not to sneak politics into "regular" blog entries and will try not to put other content in my political posts. This means that, if I have a studio/life issue to write about, it will be in its own post rather than mixed with a post about politics or what I've been doing at the Obama office. I will also, promise the following:

1. I will write life/studio posts first and political posts second so that if time is short the "on topic" posts will not loose out to politics.

2. Political posts will be easily identified by subject line and with a clearly political image. (i.e. The Obama logo above right which I've modified to add the Dayton skyline for use in conjunction with my local campaign activities...)

3. I will try to continue using my blog on my.BarackObama.com for the majority of my political blogging.

That said, I'm prominently placing a pro-Obama/Biden graphic in the sidebar of this blog and adding a link to the my.BO blog in my blogroll. I really want to be respectful of those with opposing views but I'm afraid that lately I've felt that avoiding these subjects is disrespectful of my own very strong feelings. (Just because we disagree doesn't mean that we have to venture into unpleasant territory.)