Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Fund Medicare, Not Warfare

This past weekend, the fourth anniversary of the beginning of the US war on Iraq, I participated in a local protest against the war. I have been against this war since before it ever started, which was when I participated in my first protest in Washington DC, near where I lived at the time.

I used to be part of a group called Code Pink that held a vigil in front of the White House that winter, when the war started, and one of the signs I made that I would hold there said, "fund Medicare not warfare". Today I feel the same sentiment and it is part of my motivation for declaring dissent against a seemingly endless occupation of a country that never really wanted our "help" in the first place.

While the United States has spent billions of dollars waging war on Iraq and Afghanistan, ostensibly to fight terrorism, real problems here in the United States have gone utterly ignored, with no solutions for them getting any funding from anywhere. Homelessness is rampant in this country, and a large percentage of homeless people suffer from some form of mental illness. Often they suffer from Schizophrenia. I have been homeless myself more than once, and it is a personal as well as a political issue to me.

While a large percentage of Americans have no healthcare whatsoever, another portion has healthcare coverage that does not include equal coverage for mental health.

While funding for the war has steadily increased, funding for programs like Medicaid and Medicare and Social Security has been cut.

I rely on Medicare and Medicaid for healthcare, and I rely on the healthcare to keep me alive, basically. I would not be here right now if I was not taking medications that held my delusional thoughts and suicidal urges at bay.

So this is just a post to remind people that four years later, unfortunately, the massive amounts of dissent that have been raised in opposition to this war have been ignored by people in power like our wonderful president, and unfortunately the war is still going on and costing us billions of dollars all the time.

Yet there are things you can do. Moveon.org has been a way to protest online for a few years now. United for Peace and Justice still holds large protests every so often, including this past weekend. And dozens of other resources can be found online for everything from antiwar bumper stickers, to petitions, to materials for holding your own vigil or rally against the war. I hope more people will speak out and I hope that those who have been speaking out against this war will continue to do so until our words are no longer necessary.

4 comments:

Wanderer62 said...

I respect you for protesting against the war. The older I get, the more of a pacifist I become. I wish there were more people to speak out not only against this war but against ALL war. I'm afraid I'm a bit of a sexist because I believe it is mostly men who continue to promote war as some kind of inhuman solution to serious problems. I wish we would all grow up and stop letting fear and aggression run our countries.

Kate

Ken Albin said...

Amen to your words, Beautiful! While I am completely for aggression when it is necessary, I feel that the past several wars have been fought for poor reasons. My dad almost died in WWII when he was blown out of a halftrack. I know he felt at the time that he was fighting for a just cause. He did not feel that recent wars had the same righteous cause that previous wars had. I hope we return to the values we had for justifying responses like those we have in recent years been displaying.

Wanderer62 said...

Hi Beautiful Mind, you've been so quiet lately. How are you doing? You're such a good writer, don't stop.
I'll keep stopping by...

Kate : )

Ken Albin said...

Where did you go to?

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