Barry O is really committed to shifting away from militarism. But, the reality is, he's got to walk away from a lot of his own policies to do so.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Monday, January 21, 2013
The MLK we're told about (that I've written about before - click here and here to read more) was a man who told us to live together in peace, for whites and blacks to embrace each other, and let our kids play together. This isn't a bad message at all, of course. However, we rarely get the more complicated politics that MLK touched on. He understood the connection between racism, economics, and politics. "I have a dream" is very special and historical...but the dream MLK wanted us to get to involved addressing war, poverty, and the nature of our political system. He was pro-labor (he was assassinated while supporting sanitation workers on strike in Memphis). He was critical of the economic divide in America. He was staunchly opposed to the Vietnam war, and not supportive of our foreign policy in general. He thought we exploited the poor at home and abroad. He had problems with moderate white American leaders, who would be willing to compromise on social issues to bring about a "peace" without justice. So...yeah, not as warm and fuzzy as we hear about. Of course, reality makes him (and those who fought alongside him - one man does not make a movement) far more courageous, noble, and worthy of rememberance. It wasn't easy to fight against segregation. Fighting against segregation, Vietnam, poverty, aspects of capitalism, political dealmaking...yeah, that's a lot more challenging.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Mental health is today’s hot topic given last month’s tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. The importance of this issue is no longer a topic for discussion but a topic for action. It is imperative that our health care system create room for mental illness to be de-stigmatized, detected, treated, and prevented. As I see it, the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease is great for the one who has it; the diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses is great for the person, their family, and their entire community.
But, as we begin to focus detection of mental illness on high-risk individuals in order to prevent heinous crimes like those in Aurora, Colorado, Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and Newtown, Connecticut, we cannot forget the importance of the mental health of the general population. Just as no one is safe from developing cancer these days, no one is safe from a mental health issue. Our world is a high stress place and with events like yesterday’s becoming more commonplace, it’s becoming even more stressful.