The People Ignored or Ignore?



Obama’s Journey: All Aboard!!!!

“All aboard?” The conductor cries out.  The people, men, women, and children file in.  The train fills quickly.  Finally, after what are only mere minutes, the engine turns.  Steam, or today, diesel fumes, billow out the pipes.  We are off on a road of no return. It is another election season. In truth, these never really begin nay end.  The cycle is as the chug-chug of any locomotive; it is continuous, monotonous, a wearisome drone.  The series starts as it always does, with hope, dreams of change, and the catechetic realization that the Messiah has come.  Soon we see this redeemer is but a man or woman, a meager mortal.  He, be he the President of the United States, the Libyan “Leader,” the “boy next door,” the “good girl,” you or me is not the savor we imagined.  

Days, weeks, or months pass.  It might even be a near three years. Nonetheless, sooner or later, perchance, all along, we realize he or she did not liberate us from all that keeps us down.  Indeed, after a while, the people proclaim Ignore this Mr. President. You already ignore.  Yet, in truth, the writer just as most the rest of us ignored reality all along.  The promises we attributed to Candidate Obama were not as we thought we heard. On any and most every subject, our redeemer realized as he or she pledged.  The problem was, as it is, we ignored, as we do today, the obvious.

Our rescuer never had omnipotent power.  He did not come with the supreme excellence we saw in the blinding lights of a projected image.  He was, as he is cautious, conservative and well connected.  She too has her flaws.  Diplomacy? That was never her style.  She Demands. Now he commands.  The President, just as the Philanthropist, is the Chief.  How did they achieve such authority and acclaim, we the people anointed, appointed and bestowed powers upon them that allow them to speak for us.  We knew who he or she was.  Yet, we told ourselves, in time, what was would be different. Hence, with all the others, we hopped onboard. Inconvenient realities?  Statements and actions contrary to what we wanted to believe? Ah, the public said in harmony, these too will pass.

In 2008 the people could have heard what hearkens forward to today’s veracity.  Obama Supports FISA Legislation, Angering Left  As Senator, Barack Obama forgave the indiscretion of wiretaps.  He voted for what was characterized as the “compromise Bill.”  The compromiser was conciliatory months before he was elected.  Six days later, other actions prompted the headline Obama’s Supreme Move to the Center, just as he has consistently done as President. Perhaps those no longer aboard think of tax breaks and the recent reforms foregone and agreed upon.  The President still does.  The question is will he again  concede and why might this be a possibility? We the people ignored the power of our silent approval

People persuaded or desperate to believe act as parents of a very young and irresistible child.  You may have seen these, easily swayed by cuteness, Moms and Dads on the train.  The tot held dearly in the arms of those who love him or her defies any and every request.  Still, Mom and Pop smile.  Looks or words of scorn are set aside.  Parents tell themselves the behavior is but a phase. Besides, in the moment, seconds after the transgression, the child cried out, “I will listen Mom.”  “I will not do it again.”  Daddy, “I did not mean to . . ”  Just as the caregivers, the bandwagon forgives the unforgivable.  

Oh, you protest. “He lied.”  “She told an untruth.” “What of the promises, those broken and the ones now characterized as a work in progress?”  Well, there always were assurances and excuses.  The need to compromise, at least temporarily is a truism, when needed.  One can say that the unfilled vows are of this milieu of compromise..

It is we who pledged much, who pulled the wool over our own eyes.  When we climbed on board we chose to suspend disbelief.  Now we scream.

I am so angry, frustrated, depressed . . . .  pick an appropriate descriptive adjective. This is a BAD deal.  It would have been far better to have a drawn a line –  A LONG TIME AGO.   You CANNOT fix the deficit problem simply by cutting  . . .

Others muse “I hate Obama,”  It seems “support for Obama depends” on the person.  Objective observers, if there are any, laugh.  How silly the scene.  Humans blame others for what they feel.   The President did as he said he would do on the campaign trail, for the most part, with few exceptions.  Indeed, how many of us when immersed in realities out of our control, acknowledge that perchance, we must take a different path?

Mister Obama is no different than the child who charms a Mom or Dad.  Just as any “newborn” does, Barack endeared himself to us by being a novel entrance into our mundane lives.  “He is cute!” exclaimed and enthusiastic country.  Magazine covers were devoted to his appearance.  President Beefcake? was quite the comer.  On board that train, heads turned.

You may recall, before “Barry” Obama ever took office a headline read, Time Nears Completion of Every Possible Obama Cover Variation.  Joseph Biden also captivated, proclaimed, “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” Biden said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”  How could a bandwagon of people resist that dazzling smile, the cheerful disposition, and the brilliant mind, all in one man?  America did not.

I recall my own experience.  As someone who did not support Senator Obama for President, I too stood in line. I drove miles and waited for hours just to see and hear him.  A crowd of thousands packed the stadium.  We endured heavy rain as we waited.  Yet, all remained patient.  Once the doors opened, the ample audience climbed on board.  Another long delay did not quell enthusiasm.  Nor did the countless oddities.  I listened and heard the masses applaud pronouncements that were and are contrary to the supposed “Progressive” platform.  I wondered, as did a Sun Sentinel Reporter.  The day after the “demonstration” of love and idolatry, Anthony Man penned, Did Obama know where he was for Sunrise rally?

In those days, the American people ignored the glaring contradictions and deluded themselves in regards to the challenges.  As a nation, we were enamored.  The possibility that someone might show us the way entranced the electorate.  People “hoped” this charismatic gentle man, “No Drama Obama” would be the calm after the storm.  Thus, with abundant anticipation, people said, ‘Come on board Barack.” Be our Commander-In-Chief.  Do as the public thinks should be done even if you never said you would.

A President should lead.  A President should stand for something.  A President should not be afraid of speaking bluntly –  to those who oppose him politically, to those who support him, to the American people.

Today, these same individuals utter in disgust or with much “disappointment” in a man who is as he told us he would be, ” You have on occasion demonstrated that you know how to do that. ”  Innumerable inquire with seemingly infinite support, Mister President,” Why did we not hear that blunt speech as this crisis was developing?”

In 2008 you inspired people with your words, with your call to something better…. Increasingly, many of us are giving up, pulling back, because we find we are not listened to.  Our concerns, if not ignored, are dismissed.

So go ahead Mr. President.  Ignore me.  Ignore all the voices that have been trying to explain to you, trying to help you help this country.  You might as well.  It seems as if you have been ignoring us all along.

In truth, it took two.  Hand-in-hand  we traveled with our peers, the future President, and together we gave rise to the rally cries.  Obama is the Change.   We have hope.  We believe, “Yes, we, he can!”  Once we were all aboard we proclaimed in unison, Senator Obama has the Audacity to Reclaim the American Dream..  He was indeed the candidate with the compelling biography. His mere presence propelled us to become passengers.  Today, together on the train once more, riders offer only remorse.

In the days and years to come, persons who never boarded the train, people who remained stalwart on the platform at the station will express the sentiment; once again.  The public ignored the candidate who is now President..  Just as assuredly passengers will shriek as they have “There are achievements.   I do not deny that.  But they are far from what we were promised, far from what we had reason to expect.”  Indeed historians and scribes will reason. Nonetheless, proclamations will persist, and defensive postures will seek solace in the safety of a crowd..

People will adopt a plea .”Perhaps it is arrogant to think my personal thoughts are of any value to anyone other than myself.  Yet when I offer them, people respond.  So long as they do, I will from time to time offer them.  As I did yesterday.  As I am doing today.”  Hmm?  Might these words be as candidate and President Obama would say?  As long as there are people aboard I am “fired up.” “Ready to go.” Climb onboard Americans.  Get ready for another ride.

References. Resources. Rally ‘Round and Ignore . . .

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Parenthood Planned



Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) In Opposition to the Pence Amendment

copyright © 2011 Betsy L. Angert.  Empathy And Education; BeThink or  BeThink.org

While I have no desire to share my physical age, for I think each Soul, should they chose to be, is timeless, for the purposes of this treatise on Planned Parenthood, I will.  The reason, I think this topic is more than a meaningful one.  In truth, Planned Parenthood has long been extremely significant in my life.   No. I was never pregnant.  I planned or at least Planned Parenthood taught me to. I share the one and only tale that caused me to question my judgment and myself.  On one occasion I had unprotected sex.  The results?  Well, you decide.  I offer my story.

Since birth I was gently guided through lessons on human sexuality and reproduction.  Long before I was born, my Mom filled every bathroom in our home with adult and written for children books on the subject.  In casual conversations, Mommy would chat about the subjects and ask of what she trusted my sisters and I read while on the toilet or in the tub.  We all spent a lot of time in the restroom.  None of the silliness, sex jokes, leery looks, or nervous laughter, occurred in our home.  I always believed we were too well informed to think such nonsense just or jest

By the time I was five, my Mom trusted I understand the biology. She never bothered to probe further.  Mommy was correct. There was no longer a need.  I learned my lessons well.  

During my youth, in 1962 Allen Ginsberg published Eros magazine.  Only four copies of this artsy hardbound book were made available.  The journals were glorious.  Full glossy color photographs and, even as a child, I actually, loved the essays.  

At the age of twelve, the subject discussed turned to contraception.  My Mom and Dad found a fine booklet on reproduction to share with me.  The National Organization for Women published the informative pamphlet.  I remember it well. The copy was printed on newsprint.  Photographs, diagrams and articles, all appeared in black and white.  Mommy and Daddy said, when I was ready, let them know.  They, as I, hoped to ensure that if or when I chose to have a child, it would be my choice.

The time came, not to have a baby, but to explore physical intimacy.  I was sixteen at the time, the year 1970!  Confidently, I believed I was the only virgin left on the planet.  At least I knew a close friend of mine; a “good Catholic girl” had experienced her rite of passage.  Thus, when Jimmy offered, I considered the proposition.  

Intelligent and aware as I was, I said I would have to be on the pill first. Prevention was my priority.  After all, to say I am a practical person would be an understatement.  For all of my life, I looked before I leapt.

To this day, I know not why I was too embarrassed to broach the subject with my parents.  However, I did not.  One afternoon, in my family’s Wisconsin kitchen, my girlfriend Donna and I decided to seek information from the underground Switchboard.  [Fascinating to me in retrospect, all those years ago I was sure that Donna lost her virginity when we were in eighth grade.  She was not the friend who I knew with certainty had done the deed with a boyfriend.  Years later, when Donna first thought to dive deeply; she came to me for advice.  However, I digress.]

The community Switchboard referred me to Planned Parenthood.  I telephone to make my appointment and t was assured that when I arrived, I would need to confirm I had my parents’ approval.   Yikes.  I have never lied in my life, which in my family, to withhold information is to lie.  Therefore, I knew I would have to tell my parents of my plans.

I was not scheduled to see a doctor, nurse, or attend a three-hour introductory seminar for another month.  This gave me time to build my courage.  I did.  As I might have imagined, the conversation was painless.  My parents are truly phenomenal.  The chat was not quick or dirty.  That is not the way for my Mom, Dad, or me.  Depth, details, possibilities, all one needs to ponder is our manner.

Shockingly, as days turned to weeks, a typically beyond patient me, a person who can and usually does put off immediate gratification for years, gave into the urge.  It was only days before my appointment.  I still wonder.  Did I really think that Planned Parenthood would find any sperm and cleanse my body?  I shake my head as I scribe this thought.  I remained forever baffled.  To add to my angst, I waited to reveal my anathema [truth] to my parents.

Haunted by guilt I never did such, acted carelessly or withheld information ever again.  All that side, I wish to share, that from the time I was sixteen, until I was fifty three, I was a patient of the extremely conservative clinics known as Planned Parenthood.  I used their services in Wisconsin, California, and Florida. At that time I left, I had given up my lifelong status as one of those well-hidden professional persons without health insurance, I acquired coverage and Planned Parenthood did not have an arrangement with my provider. For me, that was, and remains, a great sadness, for I had already learned through others experience that the quality of care and attention I had always received at Planned Parenthood was exceptional.

Indeed, Planned Parenthood did not solely address my reproductive needs. From blood pressure to breast cancer screenings, from pelvic examinations to heart health, there was not an issue related to my overall wellbeing that the staff at Planned Parenthood did not serve. I believe these Practitioners were the greatest “general” caregivers, I could have ever had.

As I shared, only once, before Planned Parenthood did I have unprotected sex.  I never had a problem on the pill. I was monitored closely for decades, more so than since.  An abortion was never a consideration. I never needed nay wanted one.  The agency required that I study, beyond what I learned at home, the workings of body.  Physicians and other Practitioners were exceedingly cautious.  All taught me much.  

Yes, it is true. Thirty-seven years with Planned Parenthood and never once did a Doctor, Nurse, or Staffer suggest an abortion. Why would they? With their guidance and protection none was needed.