America: April 2017

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Disgrace the Nation

Some president's have led strongly and quietly, even boringly, confidently guiding the nation like a great ship through the seas of history.  Other's, such as Kennedy and Johnson, illuminated and inspired the nation with every word they spoke and every action they took.  Lyndon Baines Johnson, LBJ, was a crude down to Earth Texan who's strength of genuine character and knowledge of government leadership enabled him to lead the nation toward equality for all Americans in both the rights and benefits of citizenship, starting with the right to vote and Medicare.  Ever since he led our nation, there has been a sincere drive towards 'health care for all.'  That's a carefully chosen neutral set of words.  It means 'Universal Health Care,' which even the poorest most primitive countries in the world provide to their starving citizens.  It may not be much more than a tent out in the bush staffed by Médecins Sans Frontières, but its still free universal care.  Only America stands out, alone, where the poor are routinely denied one of the most basic of human rights on Earth.

It took the previous president, with the wisdom and presence of mind of all previous presidents, to ultimately create the start of health care for all in America.  The flaw was that the opposition right wing forced him to create a Capitalist health care system, when true world-standard universal health care is inherently socialist, of the people and for the people.  When you have a system based on useless middle men determined to make money, to mine the health and safety of the nation for greedy gain, you have something that is made of poison pills instead of medicine.  Instead of straightforward provision of health care simply paid for by taxes as in the rest of the civilized world, you have a system where over 70 percent of the cost is stolen by people who inserted themselves in between health care and people by 'selling' the health care.  They don't provide the health care, they simply sell it; it doesn't even belong to them!  All that money that could pay for medicine, modern hospitals and clinics, training doctors and more, goes straight down the toilet into their pockets.  Of course the cost keeps going up; the right wing way of doing things is designed to do that, to suck the blood of the poor till not a drop is left.

But, it was designed so cleverly that it worked anyway, giving health care to millions and millions of Americans.  That annoyed the hell out of the far right gang of politicians whose mean spirited souls could not stand the decency of health care for all.  And so the rat leading the nation, set out to kill health care for all by supposedly cleverly substituting a plan that would minimalize healthcare while maximizing the middlemen's bloodsucking.  Ahh, such a clever plan hatched in the dark of night by the darkest of hearts!  You would think that that plan would be killed by those who care, screaming bloody murder.  But, in fact, it was killed by far right wing Congressional Cockroaches opposed to even the pretense of providing health care to all.

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In Memoriam:
Gay Veteran Gilbert Baker
Creator of the Rainbow Flag

Around 2008, Gilbert Baker was honored on the 30th anniversary of his creation of the Rainbow Flag.  When he spoke he modestly told the crowd that he was originally from Kansas.  It was reported that he said that when people heard where he was from, many asked, "OH, Do you know Dorothy?"  To which he replied, "I AM Dorothy!"  Apparently, he was a funny guy.

Back in the 70s, he was a medic in the Army stationed in the Bay Area.  And as gay pride arose as a movement, he realized that a flag was needed to represent our openness, pride, and aspirations for freedom.  The idea he got was for a Rainbow Flag to represent our diversity and so much more.  In one of our first pride parades, Harvey Milk rode or walked under one of the first Rainbow Flags, hand sewn by Gilbert Baker and friends.

With all the millions of Rainbow Flags sold around the world to represent gay freedom, Army veteran Baker did not seem to have earned a cent.  He had to raise money to create the first flags in time for the first Gay Pride Parade to fly them.

Gilbert Baker died on Friday March 31st in New York City at the age of 65.  We should remember that he served his country twice; as a patriotic soldier, and as the person who gave us one of our nation's most enduring symbols.

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