Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I Live... and found a soapbox upon which to climb

So, I've been absent of late, I know. Over the weekend it was because I was busy with my WIP, in which I got a total of 6400 words added from Tuesday-Sunday. Monday after work through until about an hour ago, I was away from home. Had some more hospital business to take care of. Don't fret for me, I'm totally fine. Well, as fine as I have been lately. I took a laptop to try to keep up with everyone, but that didn't work out well. The stupid space bar was a demon sent from Hell to torture me. Plus there's something about hospitals that makes me tired. I slept a lot and watched The History Channel.

I've been fretting lately. I try not to let reality cloud my life, but sometimes I poke my head out of my internal goings on and look around. I'm not happy, friends. Not one bit. This blog was created for the purpose of meeting other writers, and so far I think I've blogged about writing and other writers. I don't discuss politics or the tragedies occuring around the world. I watch in horror with the rest of you, but keep my thoughts to myself.

Tonight, I'm going to say a few things that have nothing to do with writing. If you're reading this for pure entertainment value, I fear there's none to find tonight. This post will be about getting to know me. Not what I like or what I enjoy, but what I care about most, second to my family. My country, the United States of America, and to my eye there has been little 'United' about us for some time, and it doesn't seem to be getting any better.

To Nick's (and possibly Terry's) horror, I'm not 'into' politics. I'm not a Republican, Democrat, Independent, Libertarian, Montana Militite, Anarchist, Socialist, Communist, Fascist, or the like. Groups worry me. They always have. I understand the uses of government, and I've worked for a couple of them. I understand, and obey, the laws (speeding doesn't count. That's more of a guideline to me).

I am a patriot. If invaded, I would pick up arms and defend my country, my home, my family, my friends. I support our troops. My future son-in-law is in Iraq right now. I don't agree with the war, as a political tool. I agree with the war for what its purpose was to be: to find the bastards who killed so many Americans and tried to kill the rest of us through fear.

I remember September 11, 2001, don't you? Don't you remember where you were when you first heard the news? It was horrifying to think a plane could accidentally strike a Tower. Then the second plane struck, and we were a nation under attack. There was a mad scramble to find loved ones, to find other planes in the air. I was in St. Louis which was in an entirely different time zone, but military jets were in our skies for days, on patrol. Do you remember that feeling? It felt like everything would change, and it has. It has.

We have an Islamic president now. Not a single person would have thought that possible ten years ago, and certainly not after September 11th. I have no problem with his color or his faith. I have several friends who are of the same race and religion. I am only remarking on how strange it is that we, as a nation, as a group of people, joined together and looked past these things instead of condemn him. It is often in our nature to do that, to condemn those that are different than ourselves. I am happy, I truly am, that we did not do that. It shows great strides in our thinking, in our ability to rationalize on merit and strengths.

Here's what I do have a problem with: Healthcare Reform. Do we need it? Absolutely. Our system is broken. I know. I work for a health insurance company. Many people point there fingers at us and blame us for all that is going wrong with heathcare, but it's incredibly off the mark. I'm not a manager or higher-up. I have no influence whatsoever, and am not being a company loyalist. If you knew me at all, you'd know how I don't like big business. My dad calls me Flower Child half the time.

What I know is this: the average American cannot afford to be without coverage. Why? Because hospital and doctor claims are outrageously expensive. Often a patient goes untreated -turned away- if they don't have coverage. This is not the insurance companies' fault. Healthcare providers like to point their fingers at the big, bad insurance companies, but consider this: if they were less expensive, would we need insurance? They say they are expensive because of their malpractice insurance. This is NOT health insurance. This is an entirely separate issue covered by a different kind of insurance company. Doctors hike their rates to pay for their malpractice insurance rates, insurance that exists to compensate a patient when the doctor has made a medical mistake and endangered (or ended) their lives.

So, the healthcare providers make mistakes, which their insurance carrier pays for, then increases their rate to get some of it back, and the doctor turns around and charges the future patients. The bottom line is, you (and I) are paying for our healthcare providers' mistakes. That doesn't make them evil. Healthcare is a business. Shoplifting at Wal-Mart yields the same results. Customers pay for losses, not companies, not businesses. There IS something incredibly wrong with the healthcare system, I totally agree. But, like publishing, I defy anyone to find a better way to do it that doesn't cost hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Which leads me to my next soapbox moment. Unemployment. We're not recovered from the recession. We're barely holding our own. To dissolve insurance companies would put hundreds of thousands of people out of work. But it doesn't end there. $12 billion cut from our education system?? Seriously??? 100,000-300,000 teachers are getting pink-slipped in June. They've also put a dissolution of NASA into the works. There's tens of thousands more jobs in the toilet. So, healthcare, education, and space exploration (not to mentional all the techological advances we've NASA to thank, and so many more we'll never have). This one is also close to home to me. Robert Goddard was a great man, a rocket scientist, a pioneer, a relative.

Another couple of things to mull over: a bill has been sent for approval to give police the right to use lethal force during peaceful demonstrations if they feel they are in danger. They can fire into a crowd of unnarmed civilians if one trigger-happy nervous rookie so chooses. I love the police. I really do. Again, it's in the relations. But bad things happen when this sort of thing is allowed, and it goes against our Constitutional right to peacefully protest. Also in the works is for every American to have 'papers' in addition to a driver's license, to have a passport whether we want or need one or not.

Think about all of these things: socialized healthcare, dropped importance on education and research, increase on military, the loss of peaceful protesting, the mandate to have freedom of movement restricted without proper papers. I feel like the toad that sat in the pot too long to notice it has begun to boil.

If you made it all the way to the bottom, thank you for hearing me out. I'm a frustrated American. I'm not anyone special. My opinion is mine, and I love that I live in a country where I can share it without fear of persecution. I'm just afraid it's slipping away. There's something going incredibly wrong with our country. Can't you feel it? Are you afraid like me? Or are you clicking 'unfollow' now because you think I'm a whiny ignorant woman who is a Big Bad Insurance Tool? Can any of you make some sense out of it all, allay my fears?

18 comments:

Terry Towery said...

Hang in there, Christi. A good friend of mine once told me that it ALWAYS gets better right after it gets worse.

Of course, right after she told me that, I strangled her. So what do I know?

Emily White said...

:) I knew I liked you.

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm Canadian and am so glad we don't have the health care woes in our country. Hope things get better for you and all my American friends and neighbours.

JustineDell said...

Don't worry Christi, after 2012, you won't have to worry about any of it!

;-)

~JD

Charity Bradford said...

I'm still following Christi. Thanks for sharing your concerns. Many of us feel them too. My problem is similar to yours--I'm not political in any way, so I can't really say what it is that bothers me about our country today.

There is very much a sense of everyone for themselves, and I feel like "government" is laying a heavier hand on our shoulders. I thought this country was formed on the idea that we had the right to live our lives in the pursuit of certain rights. It feels as if a few government officials no longer think we are intelligent enough to take care of our own choices.

There are things that we need to work on, but cutting back on education is only going to make things worse. Sometimes I just pray that our 'leaders' don't screw this country up too much. But what is it going to take to 'fix' it? People communicating, discussing with open minds, searching for answers together for the good of all. Unfortunately our country is still too full of prejudice and hate. Here's to hoping for better days in our future.

Hmm, I guess I did find a mouthful to spout. Glad to see you back in the blogosphere.

Jaydee Morgan said...

I enjoyed learning more about you and the things that are important to you. I don't have anything deep to say to make you feel better - but the occasional rant never hurts ;)

E. Elle said...

It's natural to have some fear when things are changing. But I do try my best to remember that "Everything's okay in the end -- if it's not okay, it's not the end." Change takes time and good change takes even longer. Don't give up on this country. Good things will happen, eventually. I admire your candor. :o)

Falen said...

Ha! I work for a huge insurance company as well!
I think if everyone put in a year of working in the health care field (any aspect) they would get a better understanding of the whole thing.

Lisa Green said...

I think it's great that you put your real self out there. But the cup is half full! I sure hope NASA doesn't go anywhere though, or my husband's out of a job. Guess I better get a best-seller out there soon!

Caledonia Lass said...

I am not clicking unfollow. Nor am I able to allay your fears. I respect you and your opinion. My opinion clashes greatly with yours, however. I don't like the healthcare reform simply because of the way they are going about it. While it could eventually be put in place, don't bully us to take it, threaten to fine and punish us if we don't. I agree we do need something, but they need to work on unemployment first. My sister in law is one of the teachers getting pink-slipped. She doesn't have tenure like my other sister in law. I don't like that we have an Islamic president because he tried to hide it. This country is supposed to be founded on truth and how can we trust someone who isn't completely honest with us (which is like, hello, every politician, I know.) and who forces us to take something we're not completely satisfied with.
I understand your fears. I have the same fears, even if my reasons are different from yours. But I won't sit here and tell you I can allay your fears when I cannot allay my own.
Again, I do respect you for your opinion, I hope you respect me for mine. I am glad you shared this, I really am. I think it is important to know where people stand, especially in the blogosphere so we don't accidentally put our foot in our mouth and tick someone off without meaning to. I hope you feel better, physically. I don't know what the hospital thing is all about, but feel better. :D

Nick said...

Nick will not touch on other points of contention, for while I enjoy healthy debate, I don't want to risk sparking a flame war on your blog. One thing I absolutely cannot overlook though; one of two things which still irk me to this day when people bring it up. Barack Obama isn't Islamic. His father was a Muslim, and his name certainly sounds like it, but Obama is Christian. Just sayin'. If you want to discuss other stuff, though, Nick would be more than glad to. Just, on FB or MSN or email or something, because usually when such discussions happen publicly things tend to devolve quickly. Seriously, politics is like the water to my Doctor Who bread and butter. Had I the charisma, I would totally go into politics. But I don't have the people skills and the behind-the-scenes people rarely get to do anything of any real importance. Besides, I'm happier writing books.

Seriously though, I appreciate you doing this. I've been considering putting more political stuff on my blog, but knowing me, it would consume my blog, and anyway it's nice to get to know other peoples' points of view.

As to the "problem" with our country: It happens. To paraphrase something I read the other week, America has reverted to McCarthy, with the clear cut good/evil right/left etc. and no attempts at anything but antagonism between the two. Britain, meanwhile, has shed its fangs and now sounds like three different ends of the Democratic Party fighting.

Personally that's why I prefer British politics. There's actual politics happening, instead of just a lot of pissing onto one another. Look at the leaders debate going on right now. Yeah, there's still some antagonism, but it is mostly just Clegg, Cameron, and Brown actually debating policy. I would love to see that happen with a presidential debate here. Anyway, in another few decades, Britain will grow fangs again and America will lose hers. Don't worry about it.

Christi Goddard said...

Terry - Today, I'd have strangled her, too. I got MORE bad news in the mail today. Horrifying, soul crushing news. When does this 'better' thing arrive?

Emily - and I hearts you like whoa.

Jemi - Thanks. Me, too.

Justine - It's funny you mention that. I keep thinking to myself, 'why am I trying to be published? My publish date probably wouldn't be until 12-23-12, and what good would that do me?'

Charity - Sometimes it feels like all we have left is hope.

Jaydee - Meh, I wasn't being that deep either.

E.Elle - What if the end is 2012?

Falen - I totally agree. So many people don't understand the mechanics.

Lisa - I don't know how to be anything but my real self.

Caledonia Lass - Trust is the most valuable gift we give another person, I agree.

Nick - Nick speaks of himself in third person often. Nick amuses Christi. Christi hopes he gets to be British someday. Christi would like to add that she might not be around in another few decades, so wants things her way NOW.

Palindrome said...

It's good to have you back.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I wish my husband was home. He knows a lot about all this stuff and would probably have something brilliant to say. Me? Not so brilliant. Hang in there. It's the best we can do right now, I think.

Christine Danek said...

I'm not unfollowing you. You have every right to say what you feel and I read to the bottom. I may not have much to say in the matter to make you feel better we just have to get through together --somehow.
Hang in there!

Christi Goddard said...

Palindrome- It's good to be back. :-)

Shannon - I wish I had something brilliant to say as well. This was pretty much just an ignorant rant.

Christine - There's no need to have anything to say. Just that you cared enough to respond is enough.

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