Click here for an easy to use link – simply enter your zip code and Roots Action will automatically pre-fill your 2 Senators and 1 Representative’s information. Take a second, if you wish, to compare my re-write below to their text that pops up after you enter your zip code. Mine is more specific so be sure to take out “as a consistent supporter” on the second to last line if you don’t support your Congresspeople and then enter your name where I have YOUR NAME in all caps on the last line if you are going to use my text instead of Roots Action’s text.
As your constituent, I urge you to support legislative efforts to make college tuition-free. The United States has the money to do this, as some other nations do, and the 1.2 trillion (not billion – trillion!) dollar student loan debt crisis is crippling an entire generation of potential leaders, entrepreneurs, and young families – families that choose to have only one child or no children because they simply cannot afford to.
Please cosponsor and support S.1373, a parallel House bill, and any similar legislation that will provide America’s young people with the opportunity to pursue taxpayer funded higher education at any public institution.
Additionally, please support H.R.2429, the Student Loan Tax Debt Relief Act, which protects students from tax liability when a school closes or an agreement is reached with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to keep a school open.
As a consistent supporter, I thank you for taking the time to consider my view on this important issue.
In Sarah’s fantasy realm (not to be confused with my vision of world joy which — admittedly — is a reach goal), we throw out the whole idea of a “debate” and call in a joint CIA-FBI task force to subject the candidates to lie detector tests and interrogate them until their actual views on the issues and their real plans for our country are revealed in their entirety on live national television. And why not? The members of both federal agencies work for us — we pay their salaries. And the truth is a matter of national security. Besides, if Romney gets his way, it sounds like they’ll soon be one merged entity anyway. Will it be called the FIA? the CIB? Oh, no!! Although, yes, please, let’s do away with the TSA child molesters and the DHS a.s.a.p. Plus, we already have a Department of Homeland Security. You’ve probably heard of it — it’s called the Military.
Instead of Jim Lehrer opening up the debate with a polite request for silence, let’s have a masked CIA agent appear out of thin air to get the party started. In the sketch comedy version, could this role of Primary Interrogator be played by Will Ferrell, using the same voice he used when he played the retail store manager who dressed all in black and pulled out his teeny tiny phone while riding on a scooter (it was called Jeffrey’s Clothing Store)? He could face the crowd and greet them with, “Splendid. You’re all here. So I’ll begin the interrogation now.”
Meanwhile, a [very long buffet style] table would fill with ten FBI profilers who would sit behind the Primary Interrogator and take notes on the facial expressions and hidden communication patterns of the candidates so that they could deliver their personality analyses of the two Presidential candidates to us, the People, at the end. And tag team interrogate the candidates during Round Two. Ah, yes. Good cop, good cop, good cop, good cop, good cop, good cop, good cop, scary masked cop, good cop, good cop, good cop. Every time the lie detector test detects “untruthfulness,” a gigantic red neon sign behind the candidates would blink a warning, alternating between bright crimson, “Lying Liar” and neon orange, “Lying Liarpath.” I imagine Will Ferrell with his terrifying golden mask and a megaphone announcing a lie: “LIAR.” And the profilers firing follow-up questions, such as:
“Which loopholes, Governor?”
“Would you be willing to name one?”
“Would you be willing to name one, right now?”
“Would you be willing to specify, tonight, one loophole that you would close?”
“When we say tonight, we do mean tonight, before midnight, because at that point in time, it will officially be tomorrow — do you think you could describe a particular tax write-off that you would eliminate, and describe it in five words or fewer within in the next five minutes? It could be one for a hundred dollars or a thousand dollars or even one dollar or ten cents …. No, the answer has to be yes or no. Yes or No, Governor. The word yes or the word no. One or the other. Right now.”
“Then we’ll sit here and wait till you can think of one.” (Oooh … awkward!)
And none of this Lehreresque, “I’m sorry, we’re way over 15 minutes.” No, bring on the Will Ferrellian, “Time is up. I said time is up. If you don’t stop talking, I’ll waterboard you on live national television. Raise your hand if you want to be waterboarded on live national television. Oh, not so much? Splendid. Shut your mouth. We’re moving on to the next topic.” (To which President Rockstar could point out that he outlawed the use of waterboarding just 2 days after taking office, I suppose!)
And I want major demands for clarification when Romney says he’s going to “give $716 billion back to seniors” on Medicare. Obama missed an opportunity here to explain that the $716 billion reduced from Medicare costs to fund Obamacare was cut out by lowering the amount of money to be paid to doctors and hospitals per service. So if Romney were going to reverse Obama’s action, the $716 billion would go back to doctors and hospitals, not to seniors. When Romney says, “back,” I want the interrogators to demand the form. Via a check? A voucher? A deduction? An extra dessert off the Senior Menu at Perkins? Someone, please, make Romney say — disclose — that he doesn’t want to give a penny back to seniors, he wants to give the profitback to doctors and hospitals.
If we had national health insurance — and I am still sad that not even a public option was included in Obamacare — the health needs of everyone in our nation could and would be met: seniors, the young, the poor, rich, the healthy, the sick, and everyone before, after or in between. And the program could be designed so that your family doctor would be paid the same way FBI profilers and CIA agents are: on salary! Not per service. It is true — conservatives are not lying when they say this — that nearly a third of doctors are no longer taking on Medicare patients because of the rate at which those doctors are being reimbursed per service compared to a private insurer. They miss the point (and oh, how I want the Presidential Interrogators to help them see it … so so badly, my friends …) that, to reference the example in this blog post on Forbes’ website by Avik Roy,
“Wertsch billed Medicare $217 to care for a Medicare patient with a sinus infection whose appointment ran late, because the patient required more time. Medicare reimbursed the clinic for $54.38. Later in the day, a younger patient with the same sinus infection, requiring half the time, was charged the same $217. But his private insurer reimbursed the clinic for twice the amount of Medicare: $108.04,”
the reason the private insurer, as an insurance company — which is a profit-motivated organization — can afford to pay more to the doctor is because many young and healthy people are paying in the same premium for coverage but needing less care than the elderly because they are so healthy. So the insurance company has more money to pay out to the service providers (doctors) because they are making a profit — unlike the government. And the reason the insurance company has so many healthy people? They deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions (unhealthy people) and drop people in the middle of terrible sickness once they’ve received the lifetime maximum dollar amount in treatment. So who picks up the tab for the unhealthy people? The government. (Ironic, right? The government as the FBI and CIA is also picking up the tab on people who are unhealthy in a “different” way, unhealthy people who want to auction children and fly airplanes into tall buildings. Talk about sickness. And preexisting conditions.)
Would it be so bad if primary care physicians — general practitioners we go to when we want a check up or have an infection — and ER doctors were government employees? Paid on salary? And were offered bonuses for preventing recurring accidents and illnesses, and maintaining the existing good health of their patients? Everyone, sick or healthy, would be in the same pool, causing an average between the two figures mentioned above for the treatment of sinus infections (which were $54.38 and $108.04; the average works out to be $81.21) but it would probably be even higher because, just as in the insurance company pool, there are more healthy than unhealthy people in the pool of our country. But we’d remove the profit motive for the physician to patient-load (like carb-loading before a marathon) in order to make more money by taking as many patients as possible and shorten visits to the minimum required, and the other profit-motive which is to skip any lifestyle change recommendations that could prevent more billable, charge-able, profit-from-able visits in the future? Doctors, really consider this: a 5% matching savings account (Thrift Savings Account) and only 6.2% social security tax instead of the 12.4% you pay when you’re self-employed, and other great benefits like paid vacation and sick time, and how awesome would it be to have no overhead costs, such as paying rent for the clinic space, the wages of your receptionist, nurses, etc.? No, it wouldn’t be ideal for specialists, in my opinion, but if we think of how the CIA and FBI work — for the greater good of the entire country — then you can see how establishing an agency of highly trained physicians, motivated to protect the People from illness and serve them by helping them to achieve and sustain excellent health, could be considered a success strategy. And wise. Especially if we want to really truly take down type 2 diabetes and heart disease, two totally preventable diseases that are killing people! In the same way WMD’s do.
This kind of system would restore the healing element of practicing medicine to the doctor’s lifestyle too. Instead of feeling impelled to drive up the number of patients and the number of visits and treatments, the doctor would truly act as a conduit for healing. Still not convinced? Consider the fact that no one has to pay Due Process Insurance which would be calculated on how likely you were to eventually have criminal charges brought against you at some point or other in your life. The 5th Amendment guarantees everyone the right to due process in a court of law (a trial where evidence has to presented that proves guilt) and the 6th Amendment guarantees that, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right … to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.” Yes, you get a lawyer, and if you remember from TV, “if you cannot afford one, one will be appointed for you.” So, we get a lawyer if we need one. Why not a doctor? The Justice System is socialized: our tax dollars pay for criminals (er … alleged criminals) to have a public defender. And all the judges and clerks and everyone else involved in the process part of due process are paid their salaries with money that was collected through taxes. What is a doctor but a judge of disease, coming up with an opinion/diagnosis and a sentence/treatment plan?
Obamacare is a great start, and I was amazed the President got that much transformation of the system passed into law. And as far as the popular ideas for single payer health care currently stand, I’m glad none of them were on the table because the greed element remains as long as primary care doctors who would ideally feel called to prevent illness still have a financial incentive (a motive if it were a crime, which it ought to be) not to. There’s still a lot to be done and I look at it in the light of, “Look how much the President accomplished in four years with a divided Congress during the second half. How much more will he accomplish in four more years?”
On a primal note, what’s interesting about how the President did not defend himself — or counter-attack Gov. Romney — on Wednesday night is that the lack of the act of self-defense often indicates that we simply do not feel attacked. So we might truly be experiencing an attack — with words as weapons in this case — but in the very confident person’s perception of what’s happening, there is no genuine threat, thus no genuine need for self-defense.
Some said that the President’s manner could only be described as “subdued” during the first presidential debate, but I saw a man granted the acceptance of things he cannot change. He was surprised by the bald-faced lies from his opponent, but only slightly and only for a second. I saw a man resigned to his fate, one who knows that in the end, his occupation for the next four years will be determined by the collective caprice of a nation. After all, he can’t make us google the lies. And no one’s going to force us to see the truth either; after all, we don’t live under a fascist regime. Wednesday night, I saw a man (not a perfect man, as he reminded us) who has come to terms with the inevitability of life’s whims, and who, with a shrug of consent, knows that either way, what was true before he became president will be true after: he was and will be a husband, he was and will be a father, and every Oct 3, he will celebrate the anniversary of his marriage to the woman he adores and the woman he mentions every time he speaks in public directly to the people. She was the first thing he said. Literally, his first point: “There are a lot of points I want to make tonight,” said the President straight out of the gate, “but the most important one is that 20 years ago I became the luckiest man on Earth because Michelle Obama agreed to marry me.” This matters to me, possibly as much as my gratitude for the good parts of Obamacare and my disappointment over his reneging on the promise to close Gitmo. It matters because it means that the President finds his identity primarily in his ability to love and is, perhaps unconsciously, acknowledging that although everything else about life is transitory, love isn’t.
At the end of the day, Chris Rock says it best.
“If you’re voting against Obama because he can’t get stuff done it’s kind of like saying, “This guy can’t cure cancer. I’m gonna vote for the cancer.”
September 25 is National Voter Registration Day! In honor of such a beautiful day and in celebration of the freedom to vote granted to me by the 19th Amendment, which states that “the rights of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex,” and granted to everyone else who is a U.S. citizen by the United States Constitution and the 15th Amendment, I made this video with my friend Rose.
What if I told you that you can’t trust other people — and not because there aren’t awesome, wonderful, reliable, true-to-their word individuals in the world — but because trust is not a concept anchored in reality?
Let’s define risk: the possibility or probability of danger or loss. This is why lenders will call the history of your borrowing and repayment patterns a “credit report” but have their in-house Risk Management department evaluate it when you come knocking for a mortgage or line of credit or car loan, etc. Your consumer credit score is, in all its statistical error (because it is calculated by human beings who are not omniscient), a pretty good predictor of your future behavior, but let’s acknowledge here that no lender “trusts” any of their borrowers. Instead, they assess the risk that they may not be repaid and if the risk (the statistical probability) is low enough, they choose to lend the money anyway. The use of the word “credit” makes it sound like the lender believes in you or has faith in you. Rest assured, they see your repayment history in the light of wholeness and have chosen to take the financial risk (which is the definition of a gamble) because of your “good” past behavior and despite the slew of unknowns that may affect your behavior in the future. Imagine for a moment what the credit/risk report of every relationship in your life might look like. Who always comes through and does what they say they will do? Whose credit/risk scores would be low?
When our hearts are open, we take risks anyway. Why? Because we know that even if those risks don’t pay off, and we end up experiencing loss, delay, sadness, and/or danger, we will have all the strength, perseverance, inspiration and drive to keep going and succeed the next time. And before we risk the possibility of having an unsuccessful love relationship, we acknowledge that probability, whether low or high, and reflect on whether or not we want to spend our time on this person, time (in the currency of hours and minutes) that no repo agent can get back for us. When the heart is open, we are filled with faith in ourselves and know that no matter the risk, we will make it through any pain caused by a financial or emotional risk that ends up going sour.
The next time someone asks you to trust them or asks why you don’t trust them, you’ll know how to explain that trust is not a true concept in reality. It is an illusion that allows us to deny the risk of loss — of time, money, love, or life. Now imagine if your parents and any other authority figures on whom you were dependent for guidance, food, shelter, and survival while a minor (or if you are a minor, are still dependent on) had never said, “just trust me,” and instead had consistently provided you with a logical reason to follow their directions. Imagine how you might view life and chance and luck and autonomy if they had separated their desire for your happiness from their desire for your compliance. Instead of hearing, “because I said so” or “just trust me on this one — someday you’ll understand,” you’d gotten guidance along the lines of, “I love you and desire your happiness. That’s why I’ve measured the risk in this situation and want you to take precaution to reduce it (by driving carefully, not hanging out with criminals, not flying a kite during a storm, not playing hide and go seek in a meth lab, etc.). This has nothing to do with trust and everything to do with risk. I wouldn’t be telling you to (wear a life jacket/helmet/mittens, save 10% of every dollar you earn, look both ways before crossing the street, etc.) if I didn’t think it would increase the quantity and quality of your life. I love you, I desire your happiness and that’s why I’m telling you these things: in order to take action to ensure that your happiness is the most probable outcome.”
Going back to repossession, there’s no telling when we could lose someone we love. One day they’re gone from our life and eventually we realize they were never truly ours to begin with. And any time we bring new life into the world, we are taking a risk. The probability is low, but remains nonetheless, that a child’s life could end before ours. When our heart is filled with faith, we know that even if we end up experiencing loss, delay, sadness, and/or danger, we will have all the strength, perseverance, inspiration, and drive to keep going. Whenever we give love, we’re taking a risk that it won’t be returned or reciprocated, just as when we give time or money. When the heart is open, we give love freely rather than lend it which is why forgiveness is the most generous gift of love we can present to another person. While the heart is closed, you may feel the need to “be able to trust” someone. When the heart is open, not only will your risk detector (your survival instinct via physical reactions in your gut, stomach, heart, or via the hairs on the back of your neck) be more accurate, sometimes you may choose to take the risk anyway, with full faith in yourself and the knowledge that you will confidently handle any outcome (even a default or total loss).
I use the word faith a lot and aren’t faith and trust the same? I would say no. Trust is the denial of the possibility of disappointment. Faith acknowledges the possibility and indeed its probability.
Faith says, Yeah, and I’ll take the chance anyway. Bring it on.
The distance between point a and point b we measure in space. The distance between moment a and moment b we measure in time.
So the shortest distance — measured in space — between 2 points might very well be a straight line, but the shortest amount of time between 2 points could involve a very wavy trajectory.
Go around! Go around other people who are in the way. It always takes more time to stop and deal with them than to go around.
Your time is measurably valuable. Spend it on taking action to achieve your personal goals, making the world a better place, and enjoying life while you’re still healthy and have the fewest obligations, obligations which could, later in life, keep you from traveling, taking calculated risks, and meeting new and interesting people (obligations such as raising children and maintaining owned property).
What action are you going to take today to leave Earth a better place for future generations? And what part of being alive on this amazing planet are you going to enjoy most, so that when you look back on your life at the end of it (or afterwards, if you believe in an afterlife), you’ve also prevented regret?
Trying killing two birds with one stone today and prevent regret bygoing around.
Welcome to the Messages to Millennials and Happy Mother’s Day! What do the two have to do with each other? The Messages are in part inspired by my own mom who passed in 2000. When I was very young, she took me to Nathan Hale Park and taught me the most valuable lesson I’ve ever learned: the importance of protesting injustice and objecting to abuse of power by authority. See the video below for the details surrounding my park bench lesson in First Amendment Rights.
Most hilarious thing about my mom? You know how people say, “It could be worse — it could be raining”? My mom used to say, “It could be worse, it could be _____ under a fascist regime.” So when she filed bankruptcy, “It could be worse, I could be filing chapter 13 under a fascist regime.” And when she filed bankruptcy again six years later, “It could be worse, I could be filing chapter 7 under a fascist regime.” And when she got cancer two years after that, “It could be worse, I could be being diagnosed with lung cancer and have an inoperable tumor under a fascist regime.”
If you’re familiar with my work as an author and that is the reason for your visit to this site, you know that as Snow Angel, I teach people how to forgive, how to do the chakra mirror math which reveals our hidden 8th chakra, and how the magnets in our auric wounds and depressions compel us to seek specific certain sets of circumstances in order to trigger the opportunities to forgive which, if met with forgiveness, will cause our heart chakra, our 8th chakra (our soulmate’s 4th chakra), and humanity’s collective 4th chakra to open, catalyzing something even more awesome than world peace: world joy.
As Sarah, I’m an American, a voter, a Millennial, and a person who is very concerned about the state of human rights and constitutional rights here in the US and the state of human rights in other countries too. The part of me that is driven to prevent pain by teaching people how to forgive which heals past and present pain and sadness and fills people with love so that they no longer hurt others because they no longer have the desire to — my Snow Angel persona — is inseparable from my identity as Sarah (or “Sarah Louise Reynolds” if you’re my mom or the federal government). In fact, this drive in me — the intense desire I feel daily to take action in order to prevent pain — is exactly why I am writing these messages.
Many of these messages will cover a specific social justice topic that is close to my heart. And some will simply provide insight into human behavior, tips I learned from others or learned through taking an action that caused a result I didn’t want which allowed me to deduce the most effective action to take in order to get what I did want. Others will refer to some of the spiritual principles revealed in my book Chakra Mirror Math, but all of them will serve to inspire and motivate that group of souls — the Millennials — who are here to pick up where the Baby Boomers left off in making the world a better, more just and ethical place to live.
I will repeat this, and often: if everyone on Earth knew how to forgive and were sufficiently motivated to forgive, daily, everyone would be filled with love and no one would take an action intended to hurt another person. Why? Because when our hearts are open and filled with love, we have no desire to hurt others. So at the end of the day, it comes down to a great quote by James Madison, one of the signers of the Bill of Rights and author of the Federalist Papers: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither internal nor external controls on government would be necessary.”
Since we’re all human and have free will and can’t always consistently feel love, we are capable of taking actions that cause pain, and especially capable are those members of society who are agents of the government, whether elected or appointed or recruited, because they hold a position of authority from which they profoundly influence the quality of life of everyone being governed. Our American Constitutional right to protest injustice and object to abuse of power by authority is sacred and protected by the First Amendment — but when was the last time someone mentioned the First Amendment and your first thought was of your right “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”? You probably thought of freedom of religion, freedom from religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press or the right to peaceably assemble.
How many petitions do you sign in a year? These messages are intended to inspire you to sign one a day and to start your own and to pick up the phone and call all three of the Federal Employees who directly report to you (yes, you, Boss): your two U.S. Senators and your one U.S. Representative at least once a week. In the near future, I will organize a monthly postcarding event where we will gather to socialize and then petition, via postcards, our elected officials in Congress. In a future blog, I’ll introduce my Social Justice Seventeen (like a top ten, only I couldn’t whittle it down to just ten issues), which will definitely include requesting legislation making slave-labor derived chocolate illegal, single payer health care available to all, repealing the NAFTA, stopping the TPFTA, guaranteeing net neutrality, and several others.
Gen Xers and Boomers, I hope you too find my blog to be a source of inspiration. The first day of World Joy is a date that is already circled on the calendar. Think of how much has been accomplished in the past 50 years — fifty years from now, there will be so little war, so much direct democracy, widespread access to clean air, clean water, and chemical free food, that the vast majority of Earth’s inhabitants will live in health and sufficiency their entire lives (and the way medical science is advancing, you will most likely still be around to see it). And the amazing degree to which you have shifted the paradigm already is a continuous source of inspiration to me. Thank you.
And, in the mean time, because there is still time, let’s get out there and prevent some pain.