Juvenile Crime — When should age make a difference in sentencing?

 

Question:  At what point can someone hide behind the implicit innocence of being a child?  I ask this as I ponder many situations when we use the term “child” to point finger of blame, or to turn the finger of blame away from someone that has committed a societal wrong, a heinous crime.  Do we go too far in the categorizing of age and the predominance in identifying age as the acquitter or wrong, or a definer of wrong?

I will begin by focusing on an incomprehensible crime against a young boy that brought joy to my neighborhood.  My children were his playmate, and the friend of his siblings.  I was schoolmates with his mother.  Ultimately I would become deeper friends with her and her partner.  My daughters, well unfortunately and honorably they would be his pallbearers.  The young boy was Christopher Meyers, his murderer, Timothy Buss. 

I was told months prior to Christopher moving into our small neighborhood that Timothy Buss was released from prison after serving only 12 years of a 25 year sentence for the brutal murder of Tara Sue Huffman.  I was told by Tara Sue’s brother that he was out and that some of his family still lived in the neighborhood that I lived in.  A quiet small safe neighborhood only 60 miles south of Chicago along the beautiful Kankakee River might no longer be a safe haven.  I remember all too well Tara Sue’s brother warning me to keep an eye on my kids, not to let them roam freely in a neighborhood where a monster might return.  I told my neighbors about it, they told me I was paranoid…

When we discovered Christopher missing, my heart ached, I was sickened.  I told my family that the authorities needed to look for Buss, to find Buss.  I told the Sheriff the same thing as we were all looking and praying for evidence that Christopher was okay, that he was just displaced. Christopher was found on the 15th of August, brutally murdered miles from his “safe haven.”

Timothy Buss was 27 when he returned to his old neighborhood to once again perform unconscionable acts against an innocent little boy.  Christopher was raped, sexually mutilated and stabbed over 50 times and then buried in a shallow grave. Buss murdered Tara Sue Huffman when he was 13 years old and she was only 5.  He raped, sodomized and bludgeoned her to death then stuffed her into a barrel in a landfill. He only served 12 of the 25 years he was sentenced.  He was viewed as a child? I say he is a monster.

Now he is serving out his sentence, he did receive the death penalty, and additional counts added on. This time the court made sure he will not ever be released.

Now before us is another case a heinous crime against not one, but three, a husband, wife and an unborn child.  All murdered in the safety of their own home.  The crime against this family, the devastation of the woman’s sisters, parents, nieces, nephews, friends for generations to come is real, it is as alive as it was the day they received the unfortunate news. The man’s family and friends for generations to come is alive and haunting them as they are all facing the reality ~ the murderer is about to be released.

Nancy Bishop-Langert and her husband Richard Langert along with their unborn child were shot to death by a 16 year old neighbor boy.  Originally sentenced to life without parole this is now being overturned and the family is facing the release of this man, who is being released because he was a “child” at the time of the murders. The details of the crime are relevant in that it was cold-blooded and calculated.

So the question remains, at what point does age matter?  Are we delusional in our society to determine how we treat mentally ill adolescence?  On one hand we say that a child past the age of 12 is unable to receive child services in the same manner as when they were dependent children.  Then we say it is acceptable and fair that a young woman 16 year old has the right to seek an abortion.  Depending on the issue, we determine what age is appropriate.  Should age be the determining factor in the punishment assigned to a heinous criminal, a monster? Yes, they are human, but clearly we are surrounded by the potential of repeat offenders.  Timothy Buss is an example, we risk every day exposing ourselves to violent offenders when they are released from a prison sentence when there was a heinous crime against humanity.   

Please visit my dear friend’s website and see the work that she is doing.  In this election year, ask yourself “are you truly protected in your safe zone?”  Be informed!

http://www.illinoisvictims.org/   go to the juvenile LWOP and read more about it.

    

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Virtual Classroom? Sign ME up!

 

Can you imagine?  A child sitting in the classroom, visibly bored, trapped in the mundane.  The clock ticks, one, two, three…Mrs. Smith announces, “Sally Smith, your mother will be picking you up at 2:05 for your orthodontist appointment, please proceed to the office…” The mind of the fidgeting 4th grader races to the game boy sitting in his book bag back in his locker.  He thinks of nothing more than beating his last score, when all of a sudden it happens… Ms. LaLuna is suddenly standing before him, looking him straight in the eyes.  He shakes his head, pinches himself, wonders, “am I imagining, is a figment of my imagination, am I in one of my gameboy games.  This is cyber-dude!”

His mind is now captivated, no longer thinking beyond the classroom, beyond the moment.  Mr. Chorak said there would be a visitor, I imagined someone to tell us about standardized testing and how important it is to “try your best, test matter!”  But this, this is unreal!”

No this is not unreal this is possible. It is plausible. It is necessary.  Imagine for just one brief moment how transforming it could be.  A virtual teacher, no a virtual specialist dropping into a classroom to take over the lesson to teach about a concept that children of all ages struggle with, whether it is fractions, the Revolutionary War, a literary device…it matters not.  What matters is that the classroom is keeping pace with the world around the child.  We must move to the point that we recognize that we do not teach math, science, reading, history, but we teach the child, the individual. 

The business world spends thousands upon thousands of dollars to initiate best practice in delivery forms that will intrigue, enhance, capture the adult student, yet we ignore what best practice in education for children, adolescence and maturing adolescence.  We are ignoring research on how the mind of a young person works.  The biorhythms of our students, how we learn must be at the forefront of education. 

Virtual teachers, it is plausible, technologically possible, and probable.  The time has come.  This will never do away with the primary educator in the classroom, but it will further the instruct ability of children around the world.  Teachers in the classroom in the “real” are necessary as facilitators, but to expect any one person to deliver day in and day out all the information and instruction that a pupil needs in the course of a school year limits the overall development of a child at any given time.  We can embrace the tendency of the human capacity to learn.  Research shows that most humans learn best through visual delivery (videos, media, etc) of information.  The engagement of this type of process is forthcoming and as an educator I am thrilled at the idea of being delivered to a classroom in Beijing on a Friday afternoon to share poetry with a group of 12 years old students!  Now that is cyber- DUDE, Scotty beam ME up!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/582475.stm

 

Beam ME up, it is all “virtually” amazing!

 

Can you imagine?  A child sitting in the classroom, visibly bored, trapped in the mundane.  The clock ticks, one, two, three…Mrs. Smith announces, “Sally Smith, your mother will be picking you up at 2:05 for your orthodontist appointment, please proceed to the office…” The mind of the fidgeting 4th grader races to the game boy sitting in his book bag back in his locker.  He thinks of nothing more than beating his last score, when all of a sudden it happens… Ms. LaLuna is suddenly standing before him, looking him straight in the eyes.  He shakes his head, pinches himself, wonders, “am I imagining, is a figment of my imagination, am I in one of my gameboy games.  This is cyber-dude!”

His mind is now captivated, no longer thinking beyond the classroom, beyond the moment.  Mr. Chorak said there would be a visitor, I imagined someone to tell us about standardized testing and how important it is to “try your best, test matter!”  But this, this is unreal!”

No this is not unreal this is possible. It is plausible. It is necessary.  Imagine for just one brief moment how transforming it could be.  A virtual teacher, no a virtual specialist dropping into a classroom to take over the lesson to teach about a concept that children of all ages struggle with, whether it is fractions, the Revolutionary War, a literary device…it matters not.  What matters is that the classroom is keeping pace with the world around the child.  We must move to the point that we recognize that we do not teach math, science, reading, history, but we teach the child, the individual. 

The business world spends thousands upon thousands of dollars to initiate best practice in delivery forms that will intrigue, enhance, capture the adult student, yet we ignore what best practice in education for children, adolescence and maturing adolescence.  We are ignoring research on how the mind of a young person works.  The biorhythms of our students, how we learn must be at the forefront of education. 

Virtual teachers, it is plausible, technologically possible, and probable.  The time has come.  This will never do away with the primary educator in the classroom, but it will further the instruct ability of children around the world.  Teachers in the classroom in the “real” are necessary as facilitators, but to expect any one person to deliver day in and day out all the information and instruction that a pupil needs in the course of a school year limits the overall development of a child at any given time.  We can embrace the tendency of the human capacity to learn.  Research shows that most humans learn best through visual delivery (videos, media, etc) of information.  The engagement of this type of process is forthcoming and as an educator I am thrilled at the idea of being delivered to a classroom in Beijing on a Friday afternoon to share poetry with a group of 12 years old students!  Now that is cyber- DUDE, Scotty beam ME up!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/582475.stm

 

The Power of Music and Finding your own Beat!

As I approached my heart quickened with the sound of drums, all sorts of drums keeping a steady 4 – 4 pattern.  Not all the patterns were the same, some of them fast, others slow, the timbre was varied but the rhythm was sustained.  I turned the corner to find children dancing with anticipation over the possibility of getting to hold stick in hand. The growing fervor of drum and beat was moving them beyond containment.  Weaving my way through little ones, no taller than my thigh, I looked past the man at the door, ahead to see a circle, and an inner-circle where adults all focused on their task, the task to blend their independent pattern to greater meaning.  Amidst the growing turbulence was a peace. Those sharing their beat were calm, peace shown on their faces.  They were one with a greater power. 

“If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away. ” H.D. Thoreau

There was no fear of losing pace with companions.  It was a safe zone, a place where individuality was brought together in a circle, a continuum, and so the music played on.  I was asked at one point (we all were) did I experience any enlightenment?  Yes, I did, for one brief moment my dream of being a drummer was fulfilled.  For that one moment in my own continuum I was free, free to pound out “my” rhythm, my existence was real. I was free to be me and part of the band.

I set out on a path yesterday to join a friend who is giving his entire life to establishing a Music Wellness Initiative, Eric Myrzyn, Executive Director of  http://www.music-wellness.org  My commitment to him is to spread the word of MWI, to support him as a friend as I would any friend.  It is also because I believe in MWI.  I have had the privilege of being a musician with the organization.  I have seen firsthand the power of music as a healing tool.  The undeniable power of music to bring people together, to transcend hatred, pain, cruelty, brokenness and to bring about unbridled joy is evident.  Yesterday I was supposed to be an observer.  I was just someone bringing back information and hopefully a degree of clarity to a man who seeks to promote wellness.  I came away with far more.  I was inspired again.  Music is a common language.  Music is a language that holds unifying power.   The organization that sponsored the drum circle and day of music melding towards greater understanding is Music Crossroads through a Recreational Music Making Partnership, located in Indianapolis Indiana, the crossroads of the United States.  It was pointed out to me that music recreation is that of being “re-created” through music.  No matter whether a child hearing a familiar song, or a performer learning a new musical phrase, a guitarist focusing on attaining that difficult chord, a drummer with a new progression, you enter into the movement one way and exit re-created. 

My kudos go out to Matt Carter of Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association, John Fitzgerald of Remo, Inc  for leading the “marchers” and providing the percussion instruments, The Shepherd Community Center for sharing their space and the thigh high percussionist,  The Indianapolis Foundation, inspiring philanthropy and Albert Schnazi of Integrated Solutions for facilitating an afternoon of enlightened dialogue. 

It is no mistake that yesterday morning as I was reading scripture and asking the Lord what He wanted me to know that day that he brought me to 2Chronicles 34:12 “All those (Levites) who were skillful with musical instruments were in charge of those who carried burdens, and they directed all the workers in every kind of labor…” yes, we are called.  If the Lord calls musicians to lighten the load, make the burden less, then I guess that is the who in the vast puzzle of life, and I indeed was enlightened! 

Blessings!

 

 

swim suit edition, swim team and the nightly news

Okay, that does it!  I am done with watching the news at 7 here in Indiana.  It has left me pulling my hair out with frustration.  Seriously, are we insane?  I realize that much of what I am about to let loose on has been around for a long time.  But the bigger question is why?  Is it that hard to figure out why things happen?  Okay there are two issues that I wish to discuss and somehow or another in my infinite (Very tongue and cheek) wisdom I will tie them all together.

<!High School Swim coach brought up on charges for video-taping his swim team undressing!

<!This year’s cover of Sports Illustrated

Believe it or not it all goes together.  We are selling out, over and over again to this notion that there is no connection.  Is there cause and effect, maybe not but there is a connection.  Every action does in fact require a reaction, even if that action is to do nothing, it is an action!  Societal reaction is in fact as a result of an action.  What action can we find in the two aforementioned ditties?  Hello????  Tell me this, how many women coaches are there for boys swim team, boy’s sports? Why do we feel it is okay for men to coach high school girl’s sports?  Are we not inviting trouble?  Coaching at the HS level is indeed a Very intimate reality.  It should not be taken lightly.  The influence of a coach on the athlete is incredibly strong. That alone is cause for concern when it comes to mixing influence with gender difference.   It has nothing to do with equal rights, yadayadayadaYA, it is about proper protocol and the removal of risk associated with it all.  How in the world was it possible that the video tapes were made in the first place?  It does not excuse the man who victimized the young ladies, they are not to blame the system is to blame.  A society that, in the name of money allows advertisements called, “girls gone wild!”  Somewhere we are sending out confusing messages.  The line between right and wrong is skewed. Watch late night T.V., it is all prevalent.  So now we have coaches gone wild, mad, insane again inappropriate.   

Oh which brings me to the next issue, Sports Illustrated, hello???? Is anybody really there?  Is anyone really paying attention?  This year’s proclaimed dittie is so revealing that they had to smear out the top, evidently topless beadazzled beauty.  But she worked hard to come out from the inside of the magazine to finally be the featured semi-nude model, representing super-models everywhere!  The female newscaster smiling gleefully as she says, “She is pretty.”  What, lady do you understand how hard women have had to work to get to the position as newscaster, for women to be taken seriously at all? Does anyone understand or recognize how hard women are fighting to escape the identification as mere sex-symbols?  But, who is to blame, the model, the publisher, the advertiser, the one who buys the magazine?

We link sex with sports through swimsuit, super-models!  I am realizing that this year’s edition is getting my ire up more because ironically the coverage of it came right after the story of the swim team being violated by the alleged video-taping by the coach.  Evidently there are even those that link sex with high school sports. It is sad, but true. Yes, there is a correlation; sex is directly linked to sports.  Sports Illustrated makes sure of it.  But, we glorify it, encourage it.   Do any of the sprawled out, arch backed, loin strapped women that grace the pages of Sports Illustrated have the right to be ranked above women of effort, training, strength, wit, intelligence endurance, power?  Should they be representing women, the women who have fought tirelessly to be taken seriously as athletes?   We lose the right to call ourselves a “super-power” when we get more excited over a super-model’s bold display on a cover of a magazine, than we do over a woman fighting to the top to actually be a front-runner in a Presidential election.  Well, as for this woman I am more impressed with the young swimmer who looked right at the camera while being interviewed as a result of the accusation of that the coach had video-taped her team, and said, “does he (the coach) understand how badly he hurt us?”  Does anyone understand how badly women are being violated daily, in the name of arousal? 

Maybe it is time for Sports Illustrated to embrace fully the concept of what athletic endeavor is about. What it is to be a woman trying desperately to be taken seriously.  Maybe it is time for Sports Illustrated to put quality emphasis on Title 9 and completely support women and sports and leave it at that.

 June marked the 35th anniversary of Title IX.  (This marks the 40th year of the swimsuit edition) Yes, in a country where young women have only had the same rights in sports for 35 years as young men and have had the vote for less than one hundred years it does not surprise me that we are still exploited as sex objects.  It is time for sports Illustrated to step up to the plate and put an end to exploitation of women in the name of sales. Yes, Sports Illustrated supports women’s athletic endeavor and the athletic form that the super-models take on the pages of the swim-suit addition does indeed give respect and adoration to the female form.  Women everywhere, yes we can applaud the swimsuit models for fairly and completely representing the efforts of women in the United States.  They are there because they represent the American female athlete aren’t they?  It is amazing as I researched the Women’s Sports Foundation, I looked and looked and searched the pull-down menu of sports represented and sadly I could not find the super-model swimsuit event!  Well maybe next year women of all ages will actually protest this issue, and maybe boycott the advertisers as well.  Isn’t it only right to boycott that which inappropriately represents a sector of society?

Oh and Danica you couldn’t hold true to your power on the track and remain a strong voice for young women?  Do you need to rely on a swim suit to be taken seriously on the race track?  But then again, maybe I am all wrong. 

 http://www.womenssportsfoundation.org

 

 

 

A Nation Divided?

Dividing the Nation” Well what did you expect?”

For the first time in history America has diversity in the running. The United States is indeed an immature society, one that still labels people based on hair color, size, ethnicity, gender, age. Most do not say “the person that I met with today is a good person.” But, rather it is more common to say “that man/woman, I met with today is a really smart blond, or a nice brunette.” You get the idea.

So then why when Americans have been limited to only white males with an average age of 55-60, does anyone expect anything less? My greater concern is not who would be the best person for the job, as they are all qualified to one degree or another, or they would not have gotten as far as they have! But the bigger concern is who will stabilize this country? It is sad that we would even have to question whether or not we are ready for a “diverse” leader. After all aren’t we still quibbling about John F. Kennedy having been Catholic? It amazes me that a country that claims to be a “God-fearing” nation gets hung up on where or how a person worships. It isn’t enough that they do and that they can make a solid commitment to something. (How many have changed based on constituency?)

So getting back to the issue at hand; Americans are divided, sadly so. Isn’t that a predicted outcome of a two party system? If there are two or more choices the odds are that there will be division. Now the bigger issue is that there is an extreme diversity at hand. I fear that should Senator Clinton be elected, we will be dealing with concerns such as, her husband, her shoes, her skirt, her hair, again falling back into the quasi-caveman attitude of so many Americans. I would love to believe that we have advanced beyond that. That there is some degree of sophistication at work to advance our society, but women have only had the vote for less than one hundred years!

Should Senator Obama become our leader then we will unfortunately get bogged down with color, religion, race, etc. I am sad that that is a reality as well. We should be far beyond this, but prejudice reigns supreme in these parts! Forget about his brains, his articulate delivery, or compassion. Again, we are still a Very segregated society on all sides.

Then there is McCain, this man will have to undo the damage of the past 8 years. Will he have the support of the nation behind him? The dark mark on him is that he is a veteran, I have even heard some refer to his age? When did that happen, that age became a concern in politics? Yes, every veteran should be carrying with them a badge of honor bestowed upon the shoulders of every soldier, again for believing in something and committing to it to the end. At least there is a definition of who he is, where he came from, and what he believes.

This country that has experienced abundance for over two centuries is now faced with many dilemmas. The issue of immaturity amongst other nations of the world is evident. The division is proof of that. The shrinking dollar, the inhumane way in which we deliver food, medicine and opportunity to those who are marginalized, the way in which we are rapidly trying to take care of the immigration situation. The list is long of those areas that need addressing and we will be like the old story of the tortoise and the hare. We are the hare, the young stallion amongst older, wiser nations. As America has been off and running, the giant amongst giants, its prideful nature just might wake up 5 years from now and ask “what have we done gone and done this time.” A great deal of time was wasted it on jargon that has no place in a country where we profess to be the “great mix” and all are free. What will the media use to make it interesting?

The tortoise will be those overseas who are currently reaping the benefit and reward by opening trade, wait, wasn’t there a time when we looked down upon supporting financially, communist countries? That is another blog all together. So instead of putting a feather in the cap of capitalism or a rabbit foot into the suit pocket of democracy, put a tortoise shell comb in your hair imported from, where?

 

“The Notebook”, Old School Love and Real Love, does it exist?

The Notebook:  I realize that this movie came out some time ago.  It is true I am not an avid movie watcher.   For me catching a flick a couple years after the release does happen sometimes, okay most of the time. It is my norm.  But that is okay for me, as I really do not run with the crowd.  In fact I have this tendency to run away from the crowd.  I just do not like to do what everybody else is doing until it is my doing.  That to most means I am out of the loop.

 The Movie: It was to many the love story of the decade.  Many people told me “go see it”…”just see the movie”…”you have to see it!”  For others it was a nice depiction of true love and the American way.  To others it was shmarmy, a little too sappy at best and a little too unrealistic for a society that has a divorce rate of well over 50%, and an increasing number that classify themselves as domestic partners of both the heterosexual and alternative type.  So, first love being last love?  Hmm, that is a bit much don’t you think? Cynics would agree that that type of love and marriage too? Poppycock! (okay I dated myself)

If you look a little closer into the characters you see truth about relationship and the promises we make or fail to make to ourselves at the core.  First prevalent truth revealed.  It is that the first person that you love, I mean really love, will be the last person that you really love.  Some will say there are many people that you will love in your lifetime.  Common thought is there are many fish in the sea.  Few people buy into the “Penelope and Odysseus” story line. So you could argue this point, or you can identify different classifications of love.  The love that Noah had for Allie in the movie was a total commitment to a promise.  That was his truth.  He could include another woman into his life, his house, but could never promise again that which he promised his one true love.  He would not find home.

The bigger point is this, how many of us do not really love, those which we think are our first love?  Far too often people marry out of pressure, identifying themselves with the, “it is the thing to do.”  Many feel that they cross the point of no return in relationships so they hang on for dear life, or emotional death.  The fear of hurting another and putting their feelings, wants first is not putting them first.  You are actually putting yourself, your guilt, your pain before their own in many ways.  Eventually if you are not really in it for the reasons that you should take a life partner, then it will implode!  You will both end up hurt anyway.

 Noah asks Allie “what do you want?”  She is faced with a decision to go with the one she truly loves or the life that she thinks she loves and a commitment to marry another. Discernment when we must make a choice is indeed a very hard thing.  Whether is entering into anything, job, major purchase, relationships, etc., we can be deluded into believing we feel something we think we feel. We want something we think we want.  Believe something we think we believe.  It only becomes right when it all aligns, when what we feel, want, think, and believe comes together.  It is then that a promise can be uttered.  Then a commitment backs the promise.  Through that we can see absolute truth revealed in our lives. 

Sometimes I wonder if we rush so much into relationships for all the obvious reasons that we ignore obvious reasons why we should not, only denying ourselves that Noah and Allie love.  Did Noah indicate anything to Allie in his youth that he would care for her and make her home even when she did not remember him?  Was there anything that he did which indicated to Allie that he would continue communications even when she forgot home? Yes, he did, he was a promise keeper.  He kept first the promises to himself and then to the ones he loved. He made home and knew that it was the essence of her that would fulfill it and he knew that it was her presence that made home for his heart.

Okay, so it was a movie, but it was more than a movie.  It is a glimpse at something lost in our culture.  We do not love for love’s sake.  We do not marry with the intent to fulfill promises.  We do not keep promises.  More importantly, we make promises we should not make in the first place.  Prenuptual agreements, contracts, keep us all in a state of mind that a promise, a word can be abandoned with a blink of an eye.   Believe me, I am not saying divorce, break-ups are not sometimes necessary.  I have been down that road.  What I am saying is this: We have set ourselves up to avoid the ability to make a long-lasting loving relationship with a promise at the core. We go about it the wrong way. What is necessary to have a sustaining relationship with another person?  What is needed in order to nurture the relationship to a place of health and growth?  I know for myself it is about time.  I struggle to maintain healthy relationships with family and friends and work a full-time job, and take care of me.  How can I possibly give all that is necessary to nurture the man in my life, nurture the relationship if I have to schedule it in?  It is all something to ponder.  There is nothing worst then feeling alone with someone in the other room, or worst sitting on the couch with you.

As for this romantic, I do believe that love like Noah and Allie’s exist.  Maybe, just maybe, we do not always get it. Or, maybe, just maybe, we let the “one” pass us by.  Fear of taking a chance and just going up to the one we are drawn to and saying, hi! We convince ourselves we are silly.   Giving up too soon and listening to others around us when they say, oh, he/she is not for you, there are a lot of fish in the sea, find another to fill your time.  But then again, that kind of thing only happens in movies.

Talkwithme2’s Weblog

A Friday ranting about Health Care, the Presidential election, and a little more…

“As they  walk a careful line on the issue, presidential candidates Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) have offered plans that preserve the existing system while also providing Americans with a “government-run, Medicare-like alternative to compete with private plans…According to the Journal, the shift among Democrats occurred because many decided that a single-payer system could not be achieved politically…” http://www.rwjf.org/programareas/features/digest.jsp?c=EMC-ND132&pid=1132&id=7151

A Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial argues that the top Democratic presidential candidates avoid using the phrase “socialized medicine” when discussing their health care reform plans because of its “negative connotation,” but the reality is that all three “advocate changes that would push us closer to precisely such a system.”

http://www.rwjf.org/programareas/features/digest.jsp?c=EMC-ND132&pid=1132&id=7152

 Okay, so there you have it, two separate quotes from the same Health Insurance update from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  It seems to me that it is politics as usual, “thou dost speak with forked tongue!”  Well, what is it?  Is it  hidden socialized medicine, is it a single payer system, is it a single payer system hidden beneath a facade of “well, you see you pay the bill and we reimburse you?”  Seriously, are we that foolish?  How can it be both.  (By the way the Republicans have been promoting what Hillary and Obama, seemingly are promoting for a long time! The Dems have boohoo’d it as it is too costly! But a socialized format is not?)

The way I see it is this.  Stop courting the big problem and get it together.  Identify a strong cohesive model, one that would contain cost, because everybody is buying into it.  Put in place controls like there are in Maryland, controls that limit the gross profits of hospitals, insurance companies, etc, etc, etc!  Then start calling things as they are!  The Big Boys are making a profit off of the indigent, the ill, the marginalized, those who by their circumstances are oppressed by the very system that claims to be deliverers of health care.  Doctors take the “oath” do all other providers? Read Regina Herzlinger’s “Who Killed Health Care?”   it outlines a consumer driven model. 

Be realistic, this problem is not going to be fixed with a new President.  It is much bigger, it is bigger than Washington, it will take real, honest dialogue.  We must be willing to call the issues as they are.  For more insight into this big problem check out www.jayparkinsonmd.com.  I actually would nominate that guy if he were old enough!

Now, as I see it…no matter what issue we focus on, let’s be mindful in electing the next President.  Do we want to spend the next 5 years listening to threats, insults, mud-slinging, can we afford to have constant media diversions?  We need a President that can maintain the focus on issues of great concern to us all.  We need a President that can work with congress to get the job done, so that we are not wasting any more time.  We really do not have that much time before we lose greater footing.  We cannot run the risk of the opposing party spending 4 valuable years to guarantee that the President is not reelected.  My word, will anything get done? Or will we just sit by and watch as our dollar shrinks into the abyss?  The circus that could result from electing the wrong President could be equalled to electing Britney Spears or Paris Hilton.  My point is that sometimes we maybe need to be very Machiavellian in our approach and focus on the good of all.  Sadly we are a Very immature country with a whole lot to learn.  If we can see waffling so soon with regards to health care for example, will we not see that in everything else as well?

It is food for thought, I am just dishing out a few morsels of information, for whatever it is worth.  More to come regarding the things that matter to ME.

Blessings!