Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Chill

So, I've been on a mental vacation over the past few days. Due in large part to the whopping 20+ inches of snow that hit the Metro DC area this weekend. It started like this:

And then ended like this:

I grew up in Southeastern Michigan, where snow days and ice storms were so common that churches and schools just changed their times to accommodate Mother Nature. I never thought I would see the day that an entire metropolitan region would come to a standstill all due to a few extra inches of snow and layers of ice. It has been lovely though. I've gotten to catch up on sleep. By catch up I mean get in all the sleep I have not gotten in for the past, hmmmmm 3-4 years.

A part of me wonders if I'm even awake right now, or if I'm blogging in my dreams.

The best part was definitely Saturday morning. I woke up, opened my shades, looked outside and it was literally as though I woke up in a dreamland. The entire world outside my window that I've become comfortable and familiar with was entirely blanketed and utterly peaceful. There was not a human, not even a bird, in sight. I thought to myself that even Mother earth must appreciate to getting in a good hard nap every now and then. Coated, blanketed in layers, with no possible interruption.

And now, I'll follow Mother earth's lead and enter back into a slumber. My next blog will be my goals for the new year and the new decade. NEW DECADE!!! What. The. Frick. How did this happen?! Where did time go? Did someone hide it in a box?

2010. Out of control.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Good doesn't come without pain

Granted, reset can be the most difficult command button to find. Usually it's hidden. Like on my wireless router. It's flush against the back, so it's difficult to find. It is marked though. And, most importantly, it's there for me to use when my service is clogged and no information, or jarred information, is being carried.

Today, Senator Joseph Lieberman admitted
that he essentially played an ideologically based hand in this Congressional poker game by, in a mere 48 hours, single-handedly ending the last possibility of a government health insurance alternative for American health consumers. He might have necessitated the Senate and President Obama finding the reset button on health care reform. The information in this reform process has become jarred and the integrity of Congressional health reform, that aligns with the spirit of true Modern Progressivism, has been lost if this course is maintained by the U.S. Senate.

I am not necessarily for a single-payer health care system. I do not believe that a forced market is an appropriate means to both control cost and access fairly and efficiently. I am a firm believer, however that in order for any marketplace to provide consumers with the most information and fair access to a good, while maintaining relative equality in quality and price, that marketplace must continue to grow have as many alternatives as possible.

Ironically, this is not fundamental departure from principles of conservative socio-political economics. It was the Gipper himself who once said that, "Freedom is the right to question and change the established way of doing things. It is the continuous revolution of the marketplace. It is the understanding that allows to recognize shortcomings and seek solutions." Our progression as a nation, and as a national economy is dependent upon our ability to question the economic marketplace we maintain as consumers and producers and investors, supporting its integrity, while nurturing its growth and evolution. Evolution, or continuous revolution, occurs through an introduction of new alternatives, new elements, that move that which is evolving into a new stage, a more productive and secure stage. Survival is dependent on the successful adoption and integration of those new alternatives.

Our health care system will not survive if the correct elements are not put into place, forcing its evolution. I was dismayed with the Senate Democrat's willingness to concede on many critical points of a healthcare reform bill that their House counterparts did not. A large part of it is due to the Senate's nature, so it is to be expected. In the end, I found that they made a great concession, moving to expand Medicare coverage for 55-64 year olds. Unfortunately, this has now been moved to the legislative chopping block because it is "one step closer to a single payer system," according to Mr. Lierberman. In reality, it would be, just as a public option would be, another alternative within the health care marketplace. In fact, it would expand the ability to that alternative to exact a degree of buying power and consumer advocacy impact. In itself, an expansion of Medicare as a publicly supported option would be a cost-control mechanism as well as an efficient manner to ensure access.

Somehow, the idea of expanding health care through providing an alternative within a market has been framed as a disadvantage to all taxpaying Americans. Rhetorically it makes no sense to me, and economically it is a clear lie. Our entire economic system, in every industry, has relied solely on the power of American consumers to speak effectively and collectively with their resources. When no one bought the Delorean, the Delorean failed and had to leave the marketplace. When no one bought HD DVD's, they ceased being made. The critical point that spelled defeat for these two goods that were made in completely different eras, but both suffered from high costs and poor relative quality (much like modern american health care as a whole), was the presence of alternatives within the marketplace that consumers could use instead. An alternative that is of better quality and is not as cost-prohibitive (i.e.--Ford Mustang, Blu-Ray DVDs). No such alternative exists within our health system, and that is the system's fundamental fault. It's now also what this so-called reform is moving towards NOT addressing head on.

The reset button is on the right-hand side Senators.

- Big Boi, from the monmentally, life affirming and changing "Speakerboxxx". This song used to ride in my Powder Blue Astro Van through Illinois' cornfields with Love and Hope.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Keep your head to the sky

So daydreaming is always framed as being a negative. At the very least, it has been presented as some act of those without drive and/or ambition. Really it is a lack of presence in a fixed state. Assuming the definition of so called "reality" as we know it is in fact limited to the current, present state of being, which is fixed and static without any possibility of affecting or changing, except by predicting it's future manifestation and affecting it.

[Aside: Reality is defined as:
"reality [rɪˈælɪtɪ]
n pl -ties
1. the state of things as they are or appear to be, rather than as one might wish them to be
2. something that is real
3. the state of being real
4. (Philosophy) Philosophy
a. that which exists, independent of human awareness
b. the totality of facts as they are independent of human awareness of them See also conceptualism Compare appearance [6]
in reality actually; in fact

Daydreaming may be someone's only saving reality in fact. If the current state of being that is THE only influencing factor in the above-mentioned "state of things as they are or appear to be", at least the only influencing factor in that very milli-minute moment, is too harsh or limiting, why would a person not elect to daydream instead.

So I've been daydreaming these past couple of days. Hence my lack of writing, and my abundance of suckiness within my blogging sphere of my reality, my existence. Some ideas and feelings are too abstract and too drawn out to be captured in mere tactile Standard American English words.

But I am back. And I am in the holiday spirit even when I have not partaken of any spirits. That is a beautiful thing.

The holidays are always an interesting time to observe oneself and one's contemporaries, friends, compadres, compatraiates, fellow daydreamers. It is the one time of year that Daydreaming is not only encouraged, it is almost enforced. The magnificent alternative realities we humans create around the holiday season (I've just recently visited New York's Manhattan Island and my perception of the holiday is still framed within Fifth and Madison Avenues) can be very moving and influential. Like a drug (like chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, etc.) the creations can bring out different emotions and actions in different people, all depending on their state prior to consumption. The sad souls may become sadder. The rich souls may flaunt their riches more than usual. The rich people may flaunt their riches more than usual. The sad people, may drink more.

The holidays always remind me to be truly thankful for the sky. For one, the daylight is shorter thanks to Daylight Savings (among other things a mechanism to hide the detrimental effects of non-naturally renewing sources of energy) so the little daylight I have has to be taken advantage of in creative ways in conjunction with a Modern Day Dandy's Buppie 9-5. Most importantly though, the sky is where I knew my psyche, my soul, as well as the head I could carry it in, was safe in my dreams even during the daylight.

So I keep on daydreaming, especially in this time of year when the daylit sky, where they've made it seem dreams don't belong, is shortened. The sky is a safe harbor for dreams. This time of year and all times of the year. Many moons have passed and many dreams have become "reality". Some of those dreams were thumping about in the night, some were running through the sunlit sky.

I am decorating my apartment for Christmas. Gotta have some Christmas cheer. That I definitely get from my Grandparents.

There are two songs I just heard after a long time. They both were really instrumental in my childhood. They both also were really inspirational, and remain so. Especially in times like these. Whoda thought at the onset of this Millennium, this quickly ending decade, that we would be thrust in a zeitgeist of war, poverty, economic strain and political strife. It definitely makes it harder for me to argue with my Pentecostally minded mother on abortion, birth control and marriage equality + freedom as the necessary future of our world, thus our national society. I keep my head in the clouds with my daydreams nonetheless.

Sounds Of Blackness - Optimistic

Earth, Wind, + Fire
(One of The Greatest Bands to ever LIVE and play music) Keep Your Head to the Sky - Keep Your Head to the Sky

We live, We love, and We learn. We're daydreamers.