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It's been almost a year since I titled a column here "The Cacophony of Chatter." I could realistically use that title again if one watches the political scene with any regularity. Sadly, I think it has recently gone beyond chatter to chaos. All elements of intelligent debate have since ceased as the two radical wings attempt to outdo each other for the most air time with the media pundits. Somewhere in the mist of this fog, once again, the American citizenry will come up the losers.

Admittedly, I have been sidetracked the last several weeks due to health issues. My own critical thinking ability has been at less than optimum. Yet, it has also taken me into the realm of health care in this nation. I can personally testify, if I may be so crass, that it sucks! I love my doctor and my health care professionals. I love my little independent pharmacy. My problem is not with the providers. But, when I happen to hear some congress person rant about the proposed reforms bringing the government into my healthcare, I want to shout, "Please, let it be so!"

When my doctor tells me he'd like to do a specific diagnostic test and follow a certain recovery plan, but the insurance company won't cover it. Can I afford to pay for it, of course, I answer "No."  When my pharmacist tells me that my meds have been ordered and approved by my doctor but the insurance company won't cover them, can I pay for it myself, again, I answer "No." This is health care in America, girls. What to do for a person who's not really old enough to be put before the 'death panels' and has worked for fifty years? The reform government wants us to have access to the same insurance plan that the congress has? Please, let it be so!

Yet, what I really want to address is not my personal political view. What I want to address is the trepidation I feel; the trepidation I think most of you feel. I fear our government has lost all sense of its job. I think most of the elected officials have forgotten that their purpose is to insure that ALL Americans have equal rights and liberties. I fear that any sense of civility and productive debate has been lost to a drive for re-election and promised pay backs. I fear that the news media has forgotten that their job is to report truthful news, not encourage radical hype for ratings. I fear 'freedom of speech and the right to bear arms' has been enmeshed in lies, rancor, hate-mongering and violence.

When the right to bear arms means to carry loaded weapons to presidential town halls, or into an Arizona saloon, we are in grave danger. In a country where murder and assault are commonplace and children are shot on their way to school, hand gun controls, to me, are comparable to keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of questionable governments. (Which is soon going to be us at this rate) When we are told that the United States Military may be planning a coup to overthrow the Obama government, or a popular social online site runs a poll on who favors assassinating the president, we are in deep muck.

When life or death for our populace is reduced to a screaming match between our leaders and their radical followers, one has to worry. All the while spending billions on banks, oil and economic globalization, military might, and nation building. When manufacturing weapons becomes our most productive industry, we are no longer a democracy, we are leaning toward dictatorship. When the welfare of the people and domestic policy are too expensive, yet war is always funded with borrowed or worthless printed money, we are heading toward collapse. If this climate continues, both the political and the environmental, it really won't matter what our individual political views are. We'll all go down.

But, we don't have to! Positive energy and right thinking will always win over negative energy and wrong thinking. We 'the people' have to re-learn how to think for ourselves. We must take an active role in recovering the right ideals, becoming aware of what's really going on in Washington. We have to study history and learn from past mistakes. We must demand accountability, if not full transparency in sensitive issues. We must stop re-electing officials who have been shown to be guilty of taking money for their votes or favors. The Congressional record is available to read if one takes the time.  

We must stop rewarding the con-artists and banking swindlers.  Most of all, we each need to practice the basic golden rule which is encompassed by ALL the world's religions. It covers most every circumstance that we'll come in contact with in a life time . . . "Do unto others as you'd have done onto you." A simple act of humble kindness will prevent more violence and aggression than all the guns and wars can ever do. How wonderful if everyone could practice the Hindu principle of "Ahimsa".  

Susan Haley, Author

**Susan Haley is the published author of three books, several articles on networking, an award-winning poet, an independent copy editor and book reviewer for AME Marketing out of San Diego. She also contributes a column to "The Florida Writer" the official magazine of the Florida Writers Association, of which she is Facilitator for the Sarasota County Chapter. The audio version of her novel "Rainy Day People" was received a national award in the 2008 Indie Excellence National Book Awards. She also contributes a variety of editorials and excerpts of her work to various E-zines, newsletters and local papers.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Susan Haley wrote Oct 12, 2009
    • Hi Bernadette - Thank you. Your comments mean a lot to me. I do believe we are somewhat on the same wave length. Even on the religion. As an avid Pantheist, I’m already there. :)
      I have one more week of recuperation time and then I shall return to Florida and get back to full time work. The last ten days in Maine has afforded me a rampant revival of muse. What a gorgeous place - true wilderness. I have somewhat of an idea of how my idol, Thoreau felt now. It was amazing to see the place I’d chosen as the setting for my first novel. I came really close considering I’d never been there and accomplished the thing purely out of researching topography and photos. I believe it was Einstein who said, “Imagination is the beginning of Creation.” So dream your dreams and you may just get to live them!

      My best,

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