Tuesday, September 29, 2009

why I love rachel maddow

1. She is a smart woman, and not afraid to show it.
2. She is funnier than Hillary Clinton.

this is cute: ellen putting make-up on louise

Video of the Day: Ellen's Miss California USA Makeup Tips - The Ellen DeGeneres Show

you know what that word means, 'option'?

How is it freedom of choice with no public option?

shameless self-promotion

I wrote another guest post at Undecided, Barbara and Shannon Kelley's blog about women and their choices. The topic: last week's discussion about American women's declining happiness. Preview: I think being unhappy can be an appropriate response.

And, guess what? Barbara and Shannon are working on a book on the same theme, to be published in 2011. Woo-hoo! If you want to know more, they have a Facebook group, and they are looking for input. If you're not on Facebook you can obviously communicate with them on their blog.

barbara calls it 'hideous'

Here is some news that will make you sick.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

just look at that

I haven't even read the article yet... can't get past the photo collage. All navy blue except for David Gregory?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

there is an n-word that comes to mind (no, not that one, another one)... it's at the tip of my tongue

When you send an email from your iphone unless you delete it a default line will appear at the bottom: Sent from my iphone. Marketing move, obviously.

I just got an email from someone who had changed the word from iphone to i+his first name: Sent from my iMichael.

Something about that freaks me out.

happy birthday, mexico

It seems there are white people in the US who don't like having a black guy in charge.

And I think the fear that the president isn't up for the job is nicely balanced by the fear that he will actually succeed.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

true story

Someone told me a story a little while ago, about a black man who had gotten a ticket for driving 36 mph in a 35 mph zone. This is what happened when he appeared before a traffic court judge:

- Sir, why are you here?
- Because I am a black man and I drive a Porsche.
- I am so sorry, you shouldn't be here. Case dismissed.

be inspired

Ted Kennedy's memoirs were published yesterday. Today I heard an interview with the editor and publisher, Jonathan Karp. One thing they talked about was the reason why Ted Kennedy worked so relentlessly for health care.

Mr. Karp said that the conviction had come from something that happened when Kennedy's son, at 12 years old, needed treatment for bone cancer. The boy ended up being part of a group that was treated with an experimental drug that was paid for through a research grant. When the grant ran out, participants had to pay for the remainder of the treatments out of their own pockets. Kennedy found himself surrounded by other parents, all equally concerned for their children. But while Kennedy could pay for what his son needed, other people mortgaged their homes and risked their jobs.

In teaching about racism there is a shift that happens when a white person realizes that the world is fundamentally different for someone of color. After the moment of realization nothing is the same. You can't turn back.

It sounds to me as if Ted Kennedy's experience had the same quality. Once we've been made aware of social difference, we cannot not see it.

if this doesn't stop you in your tracks, what will?

In Idaho, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming domestic violence is a pre-existing condition.

That means that in those states insurance companies will deny women* coverage of medical costs related to domestic violence.

* or men, but women tend to get beaten up more often than men

Sunday, September 13, 2009

just wait

The iphone can shoot video.
And I have a youtube account.

I'm an american now


1. I've already started planning my Thanksgiving decorations (=dried mini ears of corn). (I grew corn this year, but it never made it to adulthood.) (But maybe the fact that I have no idea what went wrong actually disqualifies me from being an American?)
2. When I saw turkey footprints in the park today I thought "yum".
3. I just made creamed corn.


Maureen Dowd in the New York Times on Joe Wilson:

But, fair or not, what I heard was an unspoken word in the air: You lie, boy!

Read the rest.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

health care (IV)

I was talking to someone about health care the other day, and I told her that it is hard for me, as a Scandinavian, to get my head around the fact that Americans are so reluctant to act politically on behalf of others. She agreed, and said something like, "and yet doing for others is what makes us human".

I think that is true.

There is a quote by Dr. King: "Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality."

That means, to me, that my freedom isn't worth much until it's shared by everybody.

The Lutheran Church of Sweden, where about 75% of Swedes are members, elected Eva Brunne to be the new bishop in Stockholm earlier this year. Eva Brunne is the first Swedish bishop to live in a registered same-sex domestic partnership. According to a National Catholic Reporter story Eva Brunne "is believed to be the first openly lesbian bishop in the world."

I am not a member of the Church of Sweden, but it makes me proud that my people not only acknowledges rights, but expands privilege.

Another quote by Dr. King states that, "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity."

Maybe it's true that a society has not started
living until it can rise above the narrow confines of individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

health care (III): where is the outrage? and where is the solidarity?

I talked to a friend last week who told me that her 2-and-a-half year old little boy had just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She said she had the lyrics for a song ringing in her head, something about being "one call away". She had been reminded, again, that we're all only one call away from a crisis, or really bad news.

It's true. One minute you're fine, the next minute you know that you have diabetes, or cancer, or something else.

It's beyond me that Americans will not support a bill just because they don't think there is anything it in for them. If people have health insurance, they are not willing to act on behalf of the 40+ millions who don't. They don't think of the uninsured people, and they don't think of the cost to society.

And, they obviously don't realize that tomorrow it could be them.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

health care (II)

If you use the social networking site Facebook you know what I am talking about, but if you don't, imagine this: You open up the site, and what you see is a page where all of your friends have entered a sentence describing what they are doing. For the most part what people are saying is kind of funny, or kind of interesting, but no more than that.

This morning, in the middle of that blur, this statement popped up:

XX thinks that no one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick. If you agree, please post this as your status for the rest of the day.

Needless to say, I copied and pasted the statement onto my own status line.

Then I went to my friend's page to see what kind of comments he had gotten. The first one was this:

RIGHT NOW, We save you even if you don't have money and even if you are not a citizen. Now you get a choice in hospital and doctors. The new healthplan will eliminate your choices. You want the goverment to pay for your healthcare, remember you always get what you pay for! I work at the hospital and doctors work hard, get up and take call in the middle of the night for a patient with no money, because the insurance people make up for the rest. Just think if the doctor was salaried, hum, he would make the same amount of money if he slept or if he came up there in the middle of the night. You want THAT care?

I am quoting this to show the nice people of Sweden who read my blog how those Americans who oppose health care reform think. It makes me mad, and sad, that people are so ill informed. Actually, it really scares me.

There are roughly 46 million uninsured in the US. They, of course, have no choice whatsoever. But even if you do have insurance, right now, the insurance company can drop you when you get sick. And if you are or have been sick, they can refuse to take you on because of your "pre-existing condition".

There is a memorable scene in Michael Moore's Sicko where Americans living in France are hesitant to fill out the paperwork that will enroll them in the French health care system. They think that if they list their illnesses they will loose health coverage. The idea that the French want to know their medical history in order for them to provide better care is mind boggling to the Americans.

Dan was at a town hall meeting earlier this week where a minister had stood up and suggested that instead of health care reform we should go back to the "Good Samaritan model." People taking care of each other, that sounds good, right? But who would be willing to pick up the bills for the 9 months of cancer treatment I had last year? Anyone? No one? Oh.

Another way to look at it would be to say that if we are to take care of each other, lets be rational about it. Lets collect from everybody ahead of time what they can afford, so we will be prepared to provide for those who will be in need later. What was that? That's socialism, you say?

Well, what it is, is government funded health care. And it works.

This is how I responded on my friend's Facebook page:

The "salaried" doctors in my country of origin (Sweden) provide care that helps Swedes end up in the top three of the healthiest nations in the world, along with Iceland and Finland. Iceland and Finland also have government funded health care programs. The US ranks 11 according to Forbes. Ahead of the US are 7 other countries with national health care programs: Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Denmark, Canada, Austria, and the Netherlands.

Then someone jumped on me for using Forbes and not the World Health Organization. If you're curious, according to WHO, the five top nations are: Japan, France, Iceland, Sweden, and Cuba. The US ranks 37.

Update: At 4:37PM President Obama posted this statement on his Facebook page:

Encouraged to see this going around today:
"No one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick. If you agree, please post this as your status for the rest of the day."

Everyone's connected.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

lost in translation? hated it.

For whatever reason I completely missed The Virgin Suicides when it came out as a movie.

I had missed the novel also, but I read it earlier this summer and loved it. So I got the film on Netflix. I watched it just now. Didn't like it.

Closing credits told me why: Sophia Coppola. I guess I really hadn't been paying attention because I had missed that one too.

I am sure she is talented and everything, but I haven't seen a movie of hers that I've liked so far. Sorry.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009