Sunday, August 30, 2009


Saw Bill Moyers on Bill Maher. He confirmed that, as I suspected, a lot of what is wrong in this moment stems from the decades-old conceptualization of the corporation as having the rights of the citizen.

I know there must be an action typically and legally taken by corporations, almost that defines the corporation, that disproves the notion of citizen. I just can't think of it. (Give me a minute.)


"Military necessity does not admit of cruelty nor of torture to procure confessions." — Abraham Lincoln

I think that Cheney and his ilk think of themselves as basically decent individuals. Unfortunately, that thinking seems to have subsumed reality, perhaps as he, Rumsfeld, and their partners threw their moral compasses under a bed. They do not know their history, these men.

Mistress of the Dark

I'm sorry that this is going to sound mean. But am I the only one who, whenever I see Marie Osmond, think that it's a younger version of Elvira?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fundamental Human Right

"This is the cause of my life... Now the issue has more meaning for me - and more urgency - than ever before, but it's always been deeply personal, because the importance of healthcare has been a recurrent lesson throughout most of my 77 years."

"[H]ealth care is...a fundamental human right."

RIP, Edward Kennedy.


"When we Europeans – the British included – contemplate the battles President Obama must fight to reform the US health system, our first response tends to be disbelief. How can it be that so obvious a social good as universal health insurance, so humane a solution to common vulnerability, is not sewn deep into the fabric of the United States? How can one of the biggest, richest and most advanced countries in the world tolerate a situation where, at any one time, one in six of the population has to pay for their treatment item by item, or resort to hospital casualty wards?"
(another one from Sherman's Blog,

Monday, August 24, 2009


Remember when he openly advocated for orphanages and a return to work houses?
(courtesy of Sherman's Blog:

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Let's Get It Done

Health Care Reform Visibility and Petition Drive (Let's Get It Done: Health Insurance Reform Now—-Public Event)

Please join us for a Health-care Reform Awareness and Service event, Saturday, August 29, from 10:00 AM to Noon in Haverhill near the Farmer’s Market, where we will distribute educational materials and petitions on healthcare reform with a public option. We will also hold rally signs to increase awareness and express our support for healthcare reform.

For more information send an e-mail to or go to and stay tuned for more details in the coming days.

Take exit 51 on Rt.495 to Rt.125 South. Rt.125 South becomes the Main Street. The Market is located on Bailey Boulevard on GAR Park across Main St. from the Haverhill Public Library.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mid August

These new blooms opened around the yard in the middle of the month.

Mid-Life Sunflowers

Not that I'm trying to imply that anyone is at mid-life.


The cat thinks we tiled the entry room for him.


Did I share this already? I got word from the organizers of the Sea Glass Festival (PA, 10/09) that I was not selected as a vendor. I was both disappointed and relieved. Disappointed that I'd come home without extra dineiro, but relieved that I would not have to spend every waking moment, now till then, drilling or gluing glass.

Now I'm getting excited about the experience. I want to be at every presentation. I want to hear about the experiences and travels of the other collectors. I want to see in person the rarest pieces of found glass, and to show off some pieces of which I'm proud.


Some years ago, my husband and I chose one health care plan from the several offered to him. We based our selection on the level of mental health care offered. We went with a plan that had a relatively low maxed-out dollar amount because of the high number of appointments with therapists that it covered. One of our children has had major mental health complications.

When I visit hospital and doctor's offices, I am given a clipboard and form. I note the blank where my stroke needs to be recorded, my hysterectomy, my two breast biopsies. (I worry that, if I am totally honest, there might be repercussions.) I feel a twinge of guilt about healthy practices that I do not keep, and unhealthy practices that I do. I also think about my current health care providers and my host of past providers, who have never shared records on me.

I can't imagine living in a state where discrimination based on 'pre-existing condition' is permissible. I would have needed to stay in the job that I had when I, at age 25, had a stroke (tho' I really could not; that shop closed down in the late 1990s), or I would have had to hope that my employer never switched coverage.

The uterine growths, which occurred 15 years later, would not have been discovered or treated. Same with the tumor in my right breast. To me, the health-care reform debate is personal. But for everyone else, bear in mind: There but for the grace of God go I.


Does health care reform represent a hostile government takeover? Even typing that phrase, my blood pressure rose.

Do we want to continue to see 50 million of our brothers and sisters without health insurance of any kind?

Do we want to see bankruptcy declared daily by those, even those who have insurance, who are confronted with ridiculous medical bills?

Do we want the insurance honchos to rape the country the way the AIG/Wall Street heads did?

Does it really make a difference if payment goes to the massive, unresponsive insurance industry out of our checks, or goes to the massive, more responsive government out of our checks?

Make no mistake, the hostility toward the citizenry in the reform debate is rooted in the insurance, medical, and pharmaceutical industries, which hope to pick our pockets for a long, long time.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


My favorite excerpt from the latter entry:
"The America which Europe fears is the America...once of the Scopes trial; the America of prohibition; the America of ignorant isolationism. The America then of ‘‘better dead than red’’; the America of McCarthyism; the America of the last fundamentalists of the 1950s. The America now of the new evangelicals; the America of the Moral Majority; the America of a now ignorant interventionism; the America which can see homosexuals as a conspiracy; feminists as a conspiracy; perhaps even women as a conspiracy."

Who Lied?

From Republican Andrew Sullivan's blog:

Saturday, August 8, 2009

August, First Week

I love Oriental lilies. Plus, I just planted the red crocosmia last year, and j'adore how it looks. The orange asclepias appeared dead when I put it in the earth, much too late, as with the phlox. I'm psyched that it rebounded.


I assume that the above acronym stands for TV Guide Network. I could, of course, be wrong about that.

TVGN has broadcast every night—-if I'm not mistaken—-since the death of Michael Jackson, a biography special on Michael Jackson. I have not watched, so I don't know if it's the same bio or the same bio with some purportedly "new" info or different material each night.

I picked up People Magazine today (I do that sometimes). There was a picture inside of all the folks who live in Katherine Jackson's home. One was described as "thought to be Michael Jackson's [illegitimate] son"...... not one of the three kids we all saw on the news. I had never even heard of this person before.

How can someone (like MJ) be =SO= constantly covered, without noticeable mention of a "love child"? I hope that it speaks to Katherine's ability to raise a child out of the spotlight.


Late-blooming phlox is essential for the garden. I said very early in this blog that I had failed to plant some phlox that I ordered last year. I'd have orange and blue if I had planted those roots in a timely fashion.


My younger sister's family is touched by the heady magic of Greekness. My son, armed with stick, above, is hoping that some of their magic rubs off on him this summer. (He's staying at their home, working at Fenway.)


My husband went sunflower-happy this year. He even mulched the front space to create sunflower habitat. Now is their hour.


The four of us were there for Liz's open house.

Any Ideas?

Dunno what this is. My sister (see above) gave it to me, under the impression that it was a squash of some sort. It looks a bit like a watermelon, but the plant doesn't grow like a watermelon plant.

New Project

Vic said that he was "on a roll" and so wanted to tile the entry room right quick. We've had the tile for said project for about as long as we'd had the vanity for the bathroom renovation: some four years.

Pic at top is Sunday, 8/3, and the one at bottom is today. Cement board laid last week; underneath it is a grotty, splotchy gray linoleum, with which we have 'made do' since moving in, January 2005.

Open House

Our daughter had her high-school graduation open house last weekend. We (and she) did not expect that she would earn her diploma in the traditional way—-she had already signed up for GED classes. We are so proud of her!

End of July

My garden evolves with grace.

One More Link

I know I've bent your ear enough about health care reform, but just one more article:

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Message to My History
Watch this for the 1984 beauty of this song.
Then watch this for the 2007 beauty of this band. Same members, different song.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


from Sherman's Blog,

Jonathan Alter: He plays with “everything is just fine the way it is.”

I had cancer a few years ago. I like the fact that if I lose my job, I won't be able to get any insurance because of my illness. It reminds me of my homeowners' insurance, which gets canceled after a break-in. I like the choice I'd face if, God forbid, the cancer recurs -- sell my house to pay for the hundreds of thousands of dollars in treatment, or die. That's what you call a "post-existing condition."

I like the absence of catastrophic insurance today. It meant that my health-insurance plan (one of the better ones, by the way) only covered about 75 percent of the cost of my cutting-edge treatment. That's as it should be -- face cancer and shell out huge amounts of money at the same time. Nice.

I like the "lifetime limits" that many policies have today. Missed the fine print on that one, did you? It means that after you exceed a certain amount of reimbursement, you don't get anything more from the insurance company. That's fair.

Speaking of fair, it seems fair to me that cost-cutting bureaucrats at the insurance companies -- not doctors -- decide what's reimbursable. After all, the insurance companies know best.

Yes, the insurance company status quo rocks. I learned recently about something called the "loading fees" of insurance companies. That's how much of every health-care dollar gets spent by insurance companies on things other than the medical care -- paperwork, marketing, profits, etc. According to a University of Minnesota study, up to 47 percent of all the money going into the health-insurance system is consumed in "loading fees." Even good insurance companies spend close to 30 percent on nonmedical stuff. Sweet.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


When some new weight-control study is made public, I'm happiest when it reveals that what I do now is smart. I'm lazy, I don't enjoy exercise, and I love food. The tradeoff is one with which I can live (being fat and happy, if stressed by the guilt of "I really should", instead of thin and happy, if stressed by a focus on intake/output).

However, as regards economics, I find no excuse or tradeoff acceptable that promotes laziness—-especially national laziness. Any study or philosophy that concludes that bankers and insurance agents are our saviors is simply bogus. Frighteningly so. When was the last time a fiscal institution took care of your kids while you saw a doctor? How about, proposed expansion of the capital of the underclass?

Some philosophies actually permit/encourage demonizing of the poor. How lucky for those of us who are not poor. Of course, I understand the popularity of philosophies that let you think you're smart by not changing a thing. But this morning, while I was watching the political pundits and HBO, Friedman-omics simply offended.

What mystifies is the idea that making money is, all by itself, a good deed: "Greed is good." I would love to see no more reliance on Milton Friedman, no more praise of Ayn Rand. Altruism will =not= ruin us all—-it is the very foundation of my family, created by public-agency adoption.

Speaking of families... have you yet heard about The Family of politically ranking fundamentalists? I still can't even wrap my head around that.