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Monday, November 30, 2009

Rant: I'm an American, Too.

My response to an email forwarded to me resigning from AARP for supporting Obama's administration, which the writers called socialistic.

Dear ---
I respect your thoughtful transmission of this letter. I do not agree with much of it. The rejection of Hispanic citizens really puzzles me. The issue of language is separate from the issue of illegal entry into the United States. In New York City, Columbus, Ohio, and San Diego, California, the Department of Motor Vehicles posts information in ten or more languages, including scripts that do not use the Roman alphabet we are used to. Everybody has to learn to read the street and highway signs in English, and obey the same laws. When I was a child, most of my schoolmates' grandparents spoke little English. It didn't keep the kids from succeeding in this society. Walt and Cyndy's letter to Mr. Rand seems to lump all Hispanics with people who entered the country illegally.

I don't see how blaming AARP helps the tangled problems of immigration.

My Grumman and Hawley ancestors arrived in Connecticut in 1620. That might make me feel that the country belongs to me. My Schaghticoke and Narragansett ancestors might take a different view. I'm sure they would prefer not to be invaded by Europeans. They would say people belong to the country. My Irish ancestors once faced factory doors posted with signs: "No Irish need apply."

Socialism is not a dirty word to me. Many of our grandparents and great-grandparents were stigmatized for taking part in the Grange movement, and the union movement, and the Populist Party in the 1800's. A lot of Republicans call Democrats socialists. Jeffersonian democrats and Hamiltonian republicans and various Independent or Libertarian or Isolationist or Survivalist factions have been arguing for two centuries.

Roosevelt was called a Socialist for the New Deal, and for setting Social Security in motion. How many AARP members want to give back their social security income? For me, it is my main source of income. I like Medicare; it helps me obtain health services.

Apparently, the USA is the only developed nation on earth that does not have universal health care. At least our nation is now seriously studying these other health care systems for their successes and pitfalls.

Walt and Cyndy refer to our bloodstained heritage. We are certainly adding to it now, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I don't believe we are going to find our way out anytime soon. Obama did not get the USA into these wars, but he has to deal with them using the best advice he can.

The letter refers to Soylvent Green, a sci fi short story and movie, in which the population was controlled. Past a certain age, people were killed and their bodies were processed into a nutritious food. The resulting powder was green so consumers would think it was made from plants. I suppose the writers were referring to the right wing scare tactic of claiming that health care reform included "death panels" which would deny care to older people. In fact, the reform opposed denial of payment to doctors when they offer end-of-life counseling, which includes whether people want hospice care, or want to be maintained on life support in a vegetative state, or simply want to go home and be cared for among family members. For some legislators, such counseling is not considered medical care, so people less trained and knowledgeable should be able to do it. I think AARP says that if a person wants their doctor involved, the doctor shouldn't have to donate his or her time.

I'd probably like Walt and Cyndy if I met them. This situation reminds me of the pain and dismay I experienced when some of the most important people in my life decided the Methodist Church was now too liberal for them. They found some things evil that I considered compassionate.

If you're still reading this, thank you. I hope we can live in a way that is both clear-sighted and compassionte.

Irene Grumman
- Show quoted text -

On Sun, Nov 29, 2009 at 7:26 PM, Janet Prentice wrote:

----- Original Message -----
From: Robert Perry
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Sent: Sunday, November 29, 2009 6:25 PM
Subject: Fw: Everyone needs to read this, regardless of your age. I hope this is a true letter.


Subject: Everyone needs to read this, regardless of your age.

AMEN to her letter ........

This letter to the AARP says it all. It is a must read regardless of your age. Some people just make sense in what they say. This lady certainly does. Please forward this to everyone on your contact list.

This was sent to Mr. Rand who is the Executive Director of AARP
Dear Mr. Rand,

Recently you sent us a letter encouraging us to renew our lapsed membership in AARP by the requested date. I know it is not what you were looking for, but this is the most honest response I can give you. Our gap in coverage is merely a microscopic symptom of the real problem, a deepening lack of faith..

While we have proudly maintained our membership for several years and have long admired the AARP goals and principles, regrettably, we can no longer endorse it's abdication of our values. Your letter specifically stated that we can count on AARP to speak up for our rights, yet the voice we hear is not ours. Your offer of being kept up to date on important issues through DIVIDED WE FAIL presents neither an impartial view nor the one we have come to embrace. We do believe that when two parties agree all the time on everything presented to them, one is probably not necessary. But, when the opinions and long term goals are diametrically opposed, the divorce is imminent. This is the philosophy which spawned our 200 years of government.

Once upon a time, we looked forward to being part of the senior demographic. We also looked to AARP to provide certain benefits and give our voice a power we could not possibly hope to achieve on our own. AARP gave us a sense of belonging which we no longer enjoy. The Socialist politics practiced by the Obama administration and empowered by AARP serves only to raise the blood pressure my medical insurance strives to contain. Clearly a conflict of interest there!

We do not understand the AARP posture, feel greatly betrayed by the guiding forces whom we expected to map out our senior years and leave your ranks with a great sense of regret. We mitigate that disappointment with the relief of knowing that we are not contributing to the problem anymore by renewing our membership. There are numerous other organizations which offer discounts without threatening our way of life or offending our sensibilities.

This Presidential Administration scares the living daylights out of us. Not just for ourselves, but for our proud and bloodstained heritage,but even more importantly for our children and grandchildren. Washington has rendered Soylent Green a prophetic cautionary tale rather than a nonfiction scare tactic. I have never in my life endorsed any militant or radical groups, yet now I find myself listening to them. I don't have to agree with them to appreciate the fear which birthed their existence. Their borderline insanity presents little more than a balance to the voice of the Socialist mindset in power. Perhaps I became American by a great stroke of luck in some cosmic uterine lottery, but in my adulthood I CHOOSE to embrace it and nurture the freedoms it represents as well as the responsibilities it requires.

Your website generously offers us the opportunity to receive all communication in Spanish. ARE YOU KIDDING??? Someone has broken into our 'house', invaded our home without our invitation or consent. The President has insisted we keep the perpetrator in comfort and learn the perp language so we can communicate our reluctant welcome to them.

I DON'T choose to welcome them.

I DON'T choose to support them..

I DON'T choose to educate them.

I DON'T choose to medicate them, pay for their food or clothing.

American home invaders get arrested.
Please explain to me why foreign lawbreakers can enjoy privileges on American soil that Americans do not get?

Why do some immigrants have to play the game to be welcomed and others only have to break & enter to be welcomed?

We travel for a living. Walt hauls horses all over this great country, averaging over 10,000 miles a month when he is out there. He meets more people than a politician on caffeine overdose. Of all the many good folks he enjoyed on this last 10,000 miles, this trip yielded only ONE supporter of the current administration. One of us is out of touch with mainstream America. Since our poll is conducted without funding, I have more faith in it than one which is power driven.

We have decided to forward this to everyone on our mailing list, and will encourage them to do the same. With several hundred in my address book, I have every faith that the eventual exponential factor will make a credible statement to you..

I am disappointed as hell.

I am scared as hell.

I am MAD as hell, and I'm NOT gonna take it anymore!

Walt & Cyndy
Miller Farms Equine Transport


From: Robert Perry
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Sent: Sunday, November 29, 2009 6:25 PM
Subject: Fw: Everyone needs to read this, regardless of your age. I hope this is a true letter.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Separation of Church and State

Outrage has erupted about the Catholic Diocese of Washington, DC informing the municipal government that if the city legalizes same-sex marriage, the diocese will stop administering city-funded programs such as homeless shelters.

I took part in training for the Faith Based Initiative around 1994. This particular training involved mostly small, urban, protestant and nondenominational churches. Religious organizations were recognized as experienced and dedicated providers of help, such as feeding programs, and homeless shelters. The idea was that federal funds would be put to use more effectively by such existing organizations than by starting up new organizations.

Compassion as expressed by the Golden Rule, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, is the basic teaching of religion. When taxes are used for social benefit, that seems congruent with compassion in action.

HOWEVER, doctrine, tradition and mores within any given congregation or religion often conflict with mores expressed legislatively in evolving understanding of civil rights.

When a religious group pays social worker salaries with government money, the group MUST follow government, civil law guidelines on employment policies.

In the name of compassion and common sense, church and state try to negotiate with each other's rules in order to focus on the common cause, such as providing shelter for individuals and families who need it.

This time, for whatever reason, the diocese says it can't negotiate. They probably do hope to influence the legislation.

Our Constitution grants religious freedom. There will be no state church supported by taxes. The Constitution protects religion from the government, and protects the government from religion. Interpretation and application of these principles is difficult, marked by contention and high emotion.

We need to keep grounding ourselves in the goal of compassion.

Thursday, November 12, 2009