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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Frankfurt am Main
Home country: Germany
Current location: Tacoma, Washington
Member since: Sat Jul 18, 2009, 11:55 AM
Number of posts: 23,319

About Me

Ran for US Congress from the left. Led a City of Tacoma initiative and won with 64% of the vote. The initiative was a liberal initiative in blue collar town and we were projected to get 29% of the vote, we received 64%. Spent 3 years leading a peace and justice project in Tacoma

Journal Archives

I am a casualty of our health care system....on this day I SALUTE OBAMACARE!!!

I have told this story on this site before:

I was born in Frankfurt, Germany and as an infant contracted a case of encephalitis. This left me in a German hospital for 6 months. At the end of that six months, my parents were billed a total of $158.60 US equivalent.
Probably about $1,500.00 in today's dollars. Many years later I got cancer and while it was difficult, our family managed and we eked out a living and were able to sustain ourselves. (We had insurance) Then a few years later I got cancer again (in the days before insurance companies couldn't refuse for pre existing conditions) and this time it was much more serious than the last time and almost killed me. Since the insurance company refused payment and were legally allowed to, our family wracked up $192,000.00 in bills. We lost everything we had and are still recovering financially. The bills piled on and some providers were cutting off treatment. I filed bankruptcy and that stopped collections and also made the providers continue treatment til a resolution came to be. So it bought me time, but not enough. I kept on filing bankruptcies to stop the clock. Because I did so too quickly I was ordered by the federal court not to do so, but I was between a rock and hard place. I probably shouldn't have done it, but I did so and it got me through it. But it also got me charged with contempt of federal court and I was sent to a federal prison for 10 months. I wouldn't wish this struggle we had on anybody!

I am very fortunate, not only am I well, but I have a good white collar job and have pretty good insurance (even though the ACA would lower my premiums by 42.00 a year). But I feel for those who worry every time a cough comes and doesn't go away. I feel for those who send their children out to play and worry about them getting hurt. I worry about those born with chronic conditions and are not being treated. I feel for those who choose to put food on the table not seek medical treatment. I feel for those who have to cut medicine in half to make it last.

I feel that this is a private victory for me today (selfish I know) but all my life I have been a huge supporter of a single payer system and while I know this isn't it, it is way better than what we had on Sept 30th.

So I salute Obamacare (the ACA) and I celebrate with all who can get insurance for perhaps the first time in their life. Today is a wonderful day for that. I thank those who fought for it and I urge all of us to continue to fight on
for a universal single payer system. Medicine and health should never be up for profit!!!

How long do you think the shutdown will last?


Yes as a nation I remember a young president on a crisp clear day asking not what your country can do for you, but you can do for your country. And the nation took that heart. Peace Corps and Vista a couple of examples of that.

I remember a nation repulsed as they watched children and teenagers being hosed down in the streets of our southern cities. And the nation took action. A landmark civil rights bill.

I remember a nation being outraged that a president would try to rig an election, burglarize his enemies office and pay hush money to the perpetrators. And as a nation we forced a resignation.

But now...but now...

We see elections rigged with electronic voting machines and do nothing
we see districts gerrymandered and do nothing.

We see a president lie us into war and yet we vote for more military spending and do nothing

We see a president let a major American city laid to waste after a hurricane and do nothing

When we can't order our priorities to include universal health care like every other industrialized nation, we have lost our soul....

Worst yet...

We have let a mean streak into our national soul.

We shout over each other on news talk shows and chalk it up to entertainment.

We have relaxed or eliminated the civilized fašade that held our societal glue together and yet laugh at the insults to those who can't defend themselves.

We witness the killing of 20 little children at an elementary and still value the possession of a gun over human life we have definitely lost our soul.

and most of all...

We cut the only funding the hungry have, we cut the money for housing for the homeless, we cut education for the masses, we cut mass transit for those who can't afford private transportation, and we enable the obscenely rich to get richer and control the national dialogue.

But worst even yet: we accept it. For every time we could have called, emailed, written, gone to a meeting and better yet get out in the streets and have passed that up...a little more of our soul flees.

If we don't speak up...no one will.....let's restore our soul...lets call for the decency and care that marked us as a nation. Let us lead...and for once and for all.... LET US PUT PEOPLE FIRST!!!

for my 5,000th post why I am a liberal!

To begin with it is because of war!

I have seen all my life the ravages of war upon actual people.
I was born in Germany 12 years after World War II and I was born two months early directly because of war. My mom was living in a major city and Hitler ordered all the children to leave the cities (as Hitler put it, to preserve the future of the Third Reich) because there was no transportation during the winter of 1943 she had to walk for miles and miles in icy and snowy conditions. This gave her frost bite and in order to save the life of her child (me) she had to have her leg amputated below the knee and the toes on her right foot also amputated. All my life from a very early age I saw her suffer. I saw her both suffer and also put up with the snide comments from my peers. The neighborhood I was born into 12 years after the war was not very sanitary. I contracted a case of encephalitis and this left me with poor eye sight, hyper activity and equilibrium problems, once again not being able to be a full part of my peers and also caused me to struggle in school toil mid high school. I struggled to be normal according to my peers all through my youth.

When I was seven, a week before Christmas, my father had a fatal heart attack as a result of being shot in January of 1961 in Vietnam. He died and I remember to this day being a small child, looking at flag draped coffin and listening to the mournful rendition of taps followed by the soul searing blasts of the rifles as the military saluted his service and we laid him to rest at 38 years old.

I have seen first hand upon both my parents and myself the direct detrimental and brutal effects of aggression and national belligerence and I don't care what you call it, a police action, an incident, a campaign, a response, war is war! And for most of my adult life it has been the liberals who have advocated for solutions other than war. It has been the liberals who have stood up to the rest of the common national thought and have been brave enough to reason for a non violent solution.

This along with lengthy teaching about social justice from the Franciscan's as I attended a Catholic School has inculcated in me not only an abhorrance for military aggression, but a love for the poor. It taught me that we are our brother's keeper..."blessed are the poor" "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven" "the poor you shall always have among you"
and my friends, voting to cut food stamps as conservatives do, voting to cut education, voting to cut mass transit, voting for policies that decimate the environment, voting for obscene sums of money for the military, voting for incarceration over rehabilitation is not being a liberal.

One of my greatest sorrows politically was when during Ronald Reagan's presidency the word liberal became a bad word and the Democrats and even some liberals shied away from it. Some called themselves progressives. Well I wear the label liberal proudly. I ran for US Congress from the left and didn't win but did change the conversation in our district. As a naturalized citizen that is my proudest political achievement.

I thank DU for being here. To talk, share, converse, argue, to laugh, have my mind changed, to vent and learn.You're a great community and I am honored and proud to be a part of it. Thank you for letting me chime in 5,000 times!

Our nation is afflicted with O.G.D.

Obsessive Gun Disorder. How else do you explain all these gun tragedies and yet we still allow unfettered access to guns. We watch and mourn when a our children get mowed down by automatic weapons, but we don't have the will to ban them. We watch and mourn when folks lose their life going to a movie, but we turn a blind eye to the weapon that reaped the destruction. We hear the news of 10,000 of our neighbors, parents, co workers, sons and daughters dying by gun violence and yet we do nothing?

WHAT WILL IT TAKE? What will it take to change our gun culture.
What will it take so that we value life over weapons.
What will it take to stand up to the NRA
What will it take to demand our elected officials enact stricter controls.

What will it take?

When will we ever learn?

A shooting at a school in: Moses Lake, Washington
Springfield, OR
Fayette, AR
Aurora, CO
Newtown, CT
Nickel Mine, PA
Virginia Tech
A McDonald's in San Ysidro, CA
A Cafeteria in Texas
A theater in CO
A Naval Yard in DC
A shooting from a college tower in Texas
and many, many more...............................in the words of song: "When will we ever learn?"

We need stricter gun control and we need it NOW!!!! in addition we need to rethink ourselves as a society....we have been conditioned since Reagan to think of ourselves and not the common good....that needs to be reversed!

Who murdered JFK?

I was watching a show on the assassination of JFK (there will be a bunch of them because this is the 50th anniversary) and was listening to the theories about who did it.....what do you think? Just pick the ONE you think most likely.

WAR IS PERSONAL: Why I am against attacking Syria:

It is all well and good to watch sanitized pictures of war being perpetuated upon a people in a distant land. I remember as a child Vietnam coming home to me in black and white as I ate dinner in my apartment in Frankfurt, Germany. But I also remember I took it more serious than my counterparts because for me, war is personal. I want to tell you a bit of my story:

My mom lived as a child in downtown Frankfurt, Germany a major transportation hub of the Third Reich. Because Hitler felt that the children were the future of the Reich he decreed that the children need to be evacuated from the major cities. Because there was no transportation for them, my mom walked, and walked and walked. This was in the winter of 1943 at the age of ten years old. Because of walking through the Bavarians, through the ice and snow, she got frostbite and as a result when she was pregnant with me, the hormones raging in her changing body turned that into gangrene and she had to have her leg amputated in order to save the life of her baby (Me). My whole life I watched my mom struggle with walking, she had to constantly watch her weight, she wound up becoming a poor eater and died of a stroke at 39 years of age.

I was born I that German hospital 12 years after the war ended and it wasn't all that sanitary because of it. Because of that, I contracted a case of encephalitis. That left me with adhd in a time when it wasn't diagnosed, it left me equilibrium problems and balance. For both my mom and her leg issues and my adhd and not being to tie my shoes til I was a teenager, not being to ride a bike til I was ten and other things, I was mercilessly teased.

My dad: was a young teenager, volunteered for World War II made it out of there alive, because he had no high school ed the Army became his career...He was sent to Korea and then at the end of his career as an advisor in Vietnam. He was shot in early January 1961 by a Viet Cong sniper. I remember being awakened from my pre Christmas dreams a week before Christmas when I was 7 to see fireman working on dad but to no avail, he succumbed to the injuries he received in Vietnam at the age of 38 and on a snowy day 3 days before Christmas, I listened at grave site to the playing of taps and cringed at the rifle volleys honoring him. So for my early life I struggled with damaged wounded parents, and then with no parents and have grown up as an old soul. And yes, this will happen to the children of Syria, will happen and has happened to the future of Iraq, Iran and all those war torn lands. So once again for hundreds, thousands, millions: WAR IS PERESONAL!!!!

And folks, my tale of woe in miniscule to those of other lands and other peoples...I have met children of war and listened to their life narratives and what it has done to them, It has ruined many lives, it has sapped the potential of many others. And for what?

Power? Oil? Position? Revenge? Diversion?

And we have made more than our fair share of mistakes beating the drums of war....Havanna, Tonkin, Bagdhad and so many others. And in the public realm for me...we have wasted our potential as a nation...with war dollars we could have relieved food insecurity, boosted post secondary education, implemented a national health care system, mass transportation...but instead it has turned us into a mean, cynical nation...

so sorry for the rant..but for me WAR IS PERSONAL and I will never be for it! Thank you for letting me vent!

Just curious: Worst president ever

I was at a dinner last night and this guy goes spouting how he thought Carter was the worst president ever (being weak, energy crisis, inflation etc) I said Reagan (fostering a culture of selfishness and tearing down safety nets) what's your opinion? These were the ones I heard....and if you care why?

If you're against going to war with Syria

check in here..

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