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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Frankfurt am Main
Home country: Germany
Current location: Tacoma, Washington
Member since: Sat Jul 18, 2009, 10:55 AM
Number of posts: 19,988

About Me

Ran for US Congress in 1990 from the left. Chairperson of 1989 city advisory initiative calling for 10% reduction in military spending to be divided among deficit reduction and mass transit and social services. Being a miliary town nobody thought we'd get on the balllot let alone win with 64% of the vote. Former chair of peace and justice project for a UMC congregation in Tacoma, Washington.

Journal Archives

What the Fuck Is Wrong With Boehner?

As speaker Boehner could bring a bill to the floor for a vote, let it be voted on open government. And in my thinking if I was Boehner, I'd do that and then resign. I would think "I don't need this shit" "You want my job, fuck you, you can have it." Then he could get a nice little pension, be a semi hero, write a book for a shit load of money and make a pile on giving inane speeches. To me it would be a lot better than putting up with the shit he's putting up with. Go out in style, live in style and maybe not descend into the throes alcoholism, which is what I am afraid he is getting to.

I taught at my daughter's civics class on Thursday

they were a great group of kids, fun and engaging. During the second half of my 75 minute session with them we started teaching about the different courts in the US and the first thing they identified with was Judge Judy. I had to tell them that if a real judge acted like that in a courtroom at some point very likely she would go before a bar review as to her behavior on the bench. It surprised me how elemental and minimal these students concept of the courts and legal process was. It was interesting at the end we talked about landmark US Supreme Court decisions and you just see the light go on in their eyes as to how court decisions directly affect their lives.

Cynicism: this isn't important but I was just sitting here thinking

it seems to me that this country was a lot less cynical. When did we become this way..IMHO opinion we began the slide into cynicsm after Kennedy got shot with the Warren Commission
it continued to grow during Vietnam
went way up during Watergate
and total went off the charts when the Supreme Court installed Shrub
and now it is almost beyond repair after the damage the tea party has done
just IMHO

Shame on you fucking Republicans!

I was just listening to a report on MSNBC about how the families of the soldiers being killed in combat in Afghanistan are being told that they can't get the death benefits they are entitled to because of the government shut down. SHAME ON YOU GOP!!!! I remember the soldiers coming to the door of our house when my dad got killed in Vietnam and how the gov't not only took care of us administratively (helping handle the civic part of the funeral) but also handled the financial arrangements as well and how grateful my mom was. Because of these tea party morons, that isn't happening right now. Yes, some repuke asshat came on the horn and said they are going to have a vote to fix that, but what about the poor soldiers family whose son, brother, husband was killed on the first day of the shutdown? The most elemental and primal function of the grieving is to be able to mourn and bury in a dignified manner and you god damn republicans are obstructing even that!

This coupled with cutting food to the hungry, withholding education to our youngest, having empty offices for our veterans, laying off those who inspect and investigate transportation and food safety...


I am speaking to my daughters high school civic class on Thursday

she is a Sr. this year and her teacher has invited me in. I know I'll talk about my life narrative and also my experience running a city initiative and running for Congress, but I would love to have my colleagues input on here: what do you think a high school Sr. should hear from a guest speaker about politics.

I bet there aren't very many mirrors in a Republican home.....

because if I voted to stop Head Start for the tiniest among us, I couldn't look myself in the mirror.

because if I voted to defund feeding millions of people, I couldn't look myself in the mirror.

because if I voted to stop health care funding for millions, I couldn't look myself in the mirror.

because if I voted to put our national safety at risk, I couldn't look myself in the mirror.

because if I voted to make our food at risk of being unsafe, I couldn't look myself in the mirror.

because if I voted to stop tax refunds for those who need them the most, I couldn't look myself in the mirror.

because if I voted to make 800,000 unemployed, I couldn't look myself in the mirror.

because if I voted to shut down our national treasures, I couldn't look myself in the mirror.

because if I threaten to ruin the US and possibly global economy, I couldn't look myself in the mirror.

because if I voted to shut the accident response team in the US, I couldn't look myself in the mirror.

because if I voted to cause chaos in the nations community, I couldn't look myself in the mirror.

It must take a hard shell to be a Republican.

All I can say is..."what so ever you do to the least of these, that you do unto me!"

I am a casualty of our health care system....on this day I SALUTE OBAMACARE!!!

I have told this story on this site before:

I was born in Frankfurt, Germany and as an infant contracted a case of encephalitis. This left me in a German hospital for 6 months. At the end of that six months, my parents were billed a total of $158.60 US equivalent.
Probably about $1,500.00 in today's dollars. Many years later I got cancer and while it was difficult, our family managed and we eked out a living and were able to sustain ourselves. (We had insurance) Then a few years later I got cancer again (in the days before insurance companies couldn't refuse for pre existing conditions) and this time it was much more serious than the last time and almost killed me. Since the insurance company refused payment and were legally allowed to, our family wracked up $192,000.00 in bills. We lost everything we had and are still recovering financially. The bills piled on and some providers were cutting off treatment. I filed bankruptcy and that stopped collections and also made the providers continue treatment til a resolution came to be. So it bought me time, but not enough. I kept on filing bankruptcies to stop the clock. Because I did so too quickly I was ordered by the federal court not to do so, but I was between a rock and hard place. I probably shouldn't have done it, but I did so and it got me through it. But it also got me charged with contempt of federal court and I was sent to a federal prison for 10 months. I wouldn't wish this struggle we had on anybody!

I am very fortunate, not only am I well, but I have a good white collar job and have pretty good insurance (even though the ACA would lower my premiums by 42.00 a year). But I feel for those who worry every time a cough comes and doesn't go away. I feel for those who send their children out to play and worry about them getting hurt. I worry about those born with chronic conditions and are not being treated. I feel for those who choose to put food on the table not seek medical treatment. I feel for those who have to cut medicine in half to make it last.

I feel that this is a private victory for me today (selfish I know) but all my life I have been a huge supporter of a single payer system and while I know this isn't it, it is way better than what we had on Sept 30th.

So I salute Obamacare (the ACA) and I celebrate with all who can get insurance for perhaps the first time in their life. Today is a wonderful day for that. I thank those who fought for it and I urge all of us to continue to fight on
for a universal single payer system. Medicine and health should never be up for profit!!!

How long do you think the shutdown will last?


Yes as a nation I remember a young president on a crisp clear day asking not what your country can do for you, but you can do for your country. And the nation took that heart. Peace Corps and Vista a couple of examples of that.

I remember a nation repulsed as they watched children and teenagers being hosed down in the streets of our southern cities. And the nation took action. A landmark civil rights bill.

I remember a nation being outraged that a president would try to rig an election, burglarize his enemies office and pay hush money to the perpetrators. And as a nation we forced a resignation.

But now...but now...

We see elections rigged with electronic voting machines and do nothing
we see districts gerrymandered and do nothing.

We see a president lie us into war and yet we vote for more military spending and do nothing

We see a president let a major American city laid to waste after a hurricane and do nothing

When we can't order our priorities to include universal health care like every other industrialized nation, we have lost our soul....

Worst yet...

We have let a mean streak into our national soul.

We shout over each other on news talk shows and chalk it up to entertainment.

We have relaxed or eliminated the civilized fašade that held our societal glue together and yet laugh at the insults to those who can't defend themselves.

We witness the killing of 20 little children at an elementary and still value the possession of a gun over human life we have definitely lost our soul.

and most of all...

We cut the only funding the hungry have, we cut the money for housing for the homeless, we cut education for the masses, we cut mass transit for those who can't afford private transportation, and we enable the obscenely rich to get richer and control the national dialogue.

But worst even yet: we accept it. For every time we could have called, emailed, written, gone to a meeting and better yet get out in the streets and have passed that up...a little more of our soul flees.

If we don't speak up...no one will.....let's restore our soul...lets call for the decency and care that marked us as a nation. Let us lead...and for once and for all.... LET US PUT PEOPLE FIRST!!!

for my 5,000th post why I am a liberal!

To begin with it is because of war!

I have seen all my life the ravages of war upon actual people.
I was born in Germany 12 years after World War II and I was born two months early directly because of war. My mom was living in a major city and Hitler ordered all the children to leave the cities (as Hitler put it, to preserve the future of the Third Reich) because there was no transportation during the winter of 1943 she had to walk for miles and miles in icy and snowy conditions. This gave her frost bite and in order to save the life of her child (me) she had to have her leg amputated below the knee and the toes on her right foot also amputated. All my life from a very early age I saw her suffer. I saw her both suffer and also put up with the snide comments from my peers. The neighborhood I was born into 12 years after the war was not very sanitary. I contracted a case of encephalitis and this left me with poor eye sight, hyper activity and equilibrium problems, once again not being able to be a full part of my peers and also caused me to struggle in school toil mid high school. I struggled to be normal according to my peers all through my youth.

When I was seven, a week before Christmas, my father had a fatal heart attack as a result of being shot in January of 1961 in Vietnam. He died and I remember to this day being a small child, looking at flag draped coffin and listening to the mournful rendition of taps followed by the soul searing blasts of the rifles as the military saluted his service and we laid him to rest at 38 years old.

I have seen first hand upon both my parents and myself the direct detrimental and brutal effects of aggression and national belligerence and I don't care what you call it, a police action, an incident, a campaign, a response, war is war! And for most of my adult life it has been the liberals who have advocated for solutions other than war. It has been the liberals who have stood up to the rest of the common national thought and have been brave enough to reason for a non violent solution.

This along with lengthy teaching about social justice from the Franciscan's as I attended a Catholic School has inculcated in me not only an abhorrance for military aggression, but a love for the poor. It taught me that we are our brother's keeper..."blessed are the poor" "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven" "the poor you shall always have among you"
and my friends, voting to cut food stamps as conservatives do, voting to cut education, voting to cut mass transit, voting for policies that decimate the environment, voting for obscene sums of money for the military, voting for incarceration over rehabilitation is not being a liberal.

One of my greatest sorrows politically was when during Ronald Reagan's presidency the word liberal became a bad word and the Democrats and even some liberals shied away from it. Some called themselves progressives. Well I wear the label liberal proudly. I ran for US Congress from the left and didn't win but did change the conversation in our district. As a naturalized citizen that is my proudest political achievement.

I thank DU for being here. To talk, share, converse, argue, to laugh, have my mind changed, to vent and learn.You're a great community and I am honored and proud to be a part of it. Thank you for letting me chime in 5,000 times!
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