Monday, August 31, 2009

To The Ghosts Who Write History Books.

To them ghosts that write history books
To them ghosts that write songs
Everyone asks would you write one about me

Do yourself a Monday night favor and hook this haunting beauty up to your stereo or your headphones. (Unfortunately the volume level is quite low on this performance.)
Then, head over to Daytrotter to get more beautiful folk songs by the Low Anthem.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A bear wrestles a fiddle.. a raw dance of beauty and passion: Chuck Ragan did a daytrotter session. Goddamn amazing.

photo by badjonni

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The President's Opinion.

To complete my little US health care hat-trick here, a link to a op-ed piece from the New York Times, by Barack Obama himself*:

This is what reform is about. If you don’t have health insurance, you will finally have quality, affordable options once we pass reform. If you have health insurance, we will make sure that no insurance company or government bureaucrat gets between you and the care you need. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan. You will not be waiting in any lines. This is not about putting the government in charge of your health insurance. I don’t believe anyone should be in charge of your health care decisions but you and your doctor — not government bureaucrats, not insurance companies.

The long and vigorous debate about health care that’s been taking place over the past few months is a good thing. It’s what America’s all about.

But let’s make sure that we talk with one another, and not over one another. We are bound to disagree, but let’s disagree over issues that are real, and not wild misrepresentations that bear no resemblance to anything that anyone has actually proposed. This is a complicated and critical issue, and it deserves a serious debate.
Anybody volunteer to spray this on every house wall?

* Or at least published under his name. You never now these days. Nor do I care, really.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Health Care Snaps.

The video of Barney Frank is all around the internet, but I just had to include it here as well:

I have few issues with this video. Of course, there is the entirely crazy Hitler-Obama comparison. Then there is the discussion of whether these protesters are "liberals" (in new American meaning: leftists) or right-wingers. Apparently the young lady in the video - who looks suprisingly normal - is a LaRouche supporter. Ehm.
Concerning Nazi comparison from the left and the right: I attended a lecture by Dr. Michael Butter here in Freiburg a few weeks ago, the topic was the use of Hitler in North American literature since the 2nd World War. After being used for war time propaganda, several war protesters (from the left) took up the comparison to protest the Vietnam War. And finally, the practice shifted to the right, in order to frame any opponent as quintessentially evil after the end of the Cold War - the absence convenient commies made the Nazi comparison 'necessary'. Which brings us to the current 'discussion', or rather screaming at townhall meetings. And to Barney Frank.
As much as I appreciate his response to this nonsense, and personally like the arrogant-fun way he responded, I would've prefered it if had taken the lady more seriously. Do state that the comparison is ridiculous and extremely offending, but don't talk down to her. Otherwise you'll appear like a out-of-touch, arrogant D.C. elitist, or in other words, just as that 'evil' figure that the crazy right-wingers, including all the pundits, want to see in you. I think the response was good, because somebody finally had to find a few strong words, but I don't think they were the perfect strong words.

And now excuse me, I have to go back to pretending to live in a world where Fox News isn't the leading new channel in the country I still quite fancy.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Worrying about Health.

The numbers that stuck the most with me this week come from a poll in this weeks Time magazine:
33% - percentage of people who are worried they could lose their health insurance in the next 12 months
11% - percentage of people currently not covered by any form of health insurance or health-care plan

Now, I do understand that health insurance and the health care reform are incredibly complex and difficult issue and that I have to do a lot of catching up on this before I can even start a qualified, in-depth criticism. I also understand that our German system might not be the most effective, best or even perfect system and that here a lot of people, i.e. self-employed people, artist, also have to worry about their health insurance.
But still - those numbers are way to high for the world's superpower, the City on the Hill. I just don't get it - more than 1 out of 10 Americans has no coverage, and every 3rd American feels like he or she has to worry about it. I also just don't understand why a "Washington bureaucrat" should be any worse than a corporate bureaucrat.

I just don't get it.

(image source: Library of Congress via pingnews)

Monday, August 3, 2009

For Those Summer Moments.

to the east, to the east/
the road beneath my feet

to the west, to the west/
I havent got there yet

and to the north, to the north/
never to be caught

to the south, to the south/
my time is running out

Frank Turner - The Road