I was appalled today to read that the Bush-era policy of the U.S. refusing to sign on to the banning of land-mines as over 150 other nations have done will be continued by the present administration. It was equally dismaying to see our President bowing and scraping to the Saudi king, and also for the sake of international business enterprise to the Chinese dictatorship. Further, President Obama continued and expanded the payments to banks and bankers and others of that greedy ilk, appointed a tax cheat as Treasury Secretary, kept Bush's man Bernake in-charge of the Federal Reserve, and kept Bush's man Gates as Defense Secretary, while sending Hillary Clinton around the world to sightsee the poor. But not to American Samoa, where the tsunami-ravaged people there have to count on the old FEMA gang. Bush's environmental policies continue without much substantive change. In terms of help for Native Americans, I continue to receive charity requests from American Indian groups around the nation noting that their situation hasn't changed one iota: poverty, unemployment, elders dying in unheated homes, children without any schoolbooks. It now seems it was a mistake to return to the ballot box. The so-called health care reform is not simply putting a bandaid on a cancer; as Andrew Cockburn points out in The Nation, it is a public relations scam which further empowers private insurance companies, and it does nothing to address the real problem of healthcare being a right not a privilege. We are, to the best of my knowledge, the only country on the planet which does not have universal healthcare, but a single-payer option wasn't even on the table. Those who out of ignorance or out of self-interest shout "socialized medicine" will, I take it, refuse to accept Medicare when they reach eligibility? Of course there is no insurance at all, certainly not Medicare or any of the medicare "gap" policies, which covers the cost of hearing aids, good ones beginning at $2000; so the hearing-impaired in America continue to suffer in silence. Perhaps Obama will surprise me when he announces what he is going to do about the wars, but it seems now he is committed to listening to the self-serving, death-oriented, narrow-minded military leaders, and the private "soldiers of fortune" and "getting the job done" as he has said. Is there a difference between this and Bush's "mission accomplished" or LBJ's believing McNamara and Westmorland in Vietnam? It's not that we haven't progressed any from that era - we don't seem to have progressed any from "The Charge of the Light Brigade."
(I don't maintain a Comments Box on these OMOO posts I have irregularly done over the past four years because (a) I would feel obliged to respond personally to comments (as Tom Clark does in his "Beyond The Pale" poetry blog) and I just don't have the good will, or perhaps the energy, to do that, and (b) reading other blogs, I see the plethora of nutters who drop comments into boxes and I really don't want to deal with that. Anyone who wants to seriously address me about something, can click on my profile to find my e-mail address.)
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Those who love music and the sound of guitar especially and who are in London on the day will not want to miss this event: a celebration of the life and work of the late Davey Graham. On hearing of Graham's death, Paul Simon commented: Britain has lost its best guitarist. With thanks to Jill Doyle Lindsay, Graham's sister, for sending me the poster.