DEEPER CALL

I will reach higher;
If I happen to fall,
I will get up,
Dust myself off
And try again.

 

I will look farther;
If I don’t see at all,
I will grow still,
Quietly wait,
Carefully attend.

 

I will hope stronger;
Obey the deeper call
Of my own heart;
The soft voice of
My inward friend.

Come Join the Dance

BBC-Radio-Orchestra-April-1971-The band struck up a joyful tune
With beat lively and fast;
“Come join in, the host proclaim,”
“We’ll party and have a blast!”

But some of the guests ignored his words;
Others just stood around.
A few joined in the circle;
Many were by fear so bound.

 

The band played a more gentle tune,
A melody subdued,
Which made some guests begin to sway
With a quiet attitude.

 

The ones who liked the faster beat
Sighed and wandered away,
While some talked over the music,
Touting what they had to say.

 

At last the band began to play
A song with depth of heart.
No one could resist its sound,
So they stopped drifting apart.

 

As the people heard the music
Speak to their very souls,
They joined together in one dance
That began to make them whole.

 

So may the band play on and on
Until there’s joy and peace;
Until all people everywhere
Live in hope that will increase.

 

The Heart of the Matter

What sort of people will we be?
What will we choose to believe?
Will we be open and unafraid;
Or angry, frightened,
Stuck in our own ways?

Will we choose generosity
And noble pursuits;
Will we be tight-fisted,
Uncaring brutes?

Will our power and wealth
Be invested for good
Or squandered and hoarded
Until all who would
Prosper alongside us
Are sickened and dead?
I say,
Let’s be people of principle instead.

The heart of the matter is,
We have a choice:
We can silence the cries of need
Or join with our own voice.
What will you hold on to?
What will be your way?
I invite you to choose rightly;
Let’s join together today.

Powerful People

As Mr. Trump debates whether he will keep the US in the Paris Accord, I have this thought:

We are powerful people.
We can choose for ourselves:
Will we give in to control?
Or will we stand on our own?

We can decide what is right;
No one ever does that for us.
Thoughts, feelings, actions, words
Are always results of our own choices.

Stand tall, powerful people!
Think, choose and live;
Never sell out or give in;
Own what you say, do and believe.

I Couldn’t Have Said It Better Myself

From:
http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/05/24/529831472/trump-wants-families-on-food-stamps-to-get-jobs-the-majority-already-work
When President Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, unveiled the administration’s budget blueprint earlier this week, which calls for significant cuts
to food stamps, he noted that the aim of the budget was to get people working.

“If you’re on food stamps and you’re able-bodied, we need you to go to work. If you’re on disability insurance and you’re not supposed to be — if you’re
not truly disabled, we need you to go back to work,” Mulvaney said Tuesday.

But the reality is, many people (44 percent) who rely on SNAP — the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, as food stamps is now known — have at least
one person in the family working, according to
the latest figures
from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

And when it comes to families on SNAP with kids, a majority — 55 percent — are bringing home wages, according to USDA. The problem is, those wages aren’t
enough to actually live on. …

In fact, SNAP already requires able-bodied adults without children to find a job within three months and to work at least 20 hours a week within three
months or lose their benefits. All told, about 42 million people receive SNAP benefits.

 

Another Hero’s Story

Chris Parker came to Manchester Arena as an anonymous beggar, positioning himself near the crowd of exiting Ariana Grande fans in hopes that he might pocket
some spare change.

Tragedy altered those plans:

“It knocked me to the floor and then I got up and instead of running away my gut instinct was to run back and try and help,” he told the wire service. “There
was people lying on the floor everywhere.

“I saw a little girl … she had no legs,” he added. “I wrapped her in one of the merchandise T-shirts and I said, ‘Where is your mum and daddy?’”

He is haunted by what he encountered, he said.

“There were nuts and bolts all over the floor,” Parker told the Press Association. “People had holes in their back.”

“It’s the screams I can’t get over, and the smell. … I don’t like to say it, but it smelled like burning flesh.”

There was also a wounded woman — “in her 60s,” he guessed — whom Parker tried to comfort.

“She passed away in my arms,” he said. “I haven’t stopped crying.”

Chris Parker and Steve Jones were two people who helped; there were more:
“There was a lot of homeless people that stayed there and helped, and that’s what we done,” said Jones, a former bricklayer who has been homeless for about
a year. “And obviously when we seen children like that with blood … having to pull nails and stuff out of their arms and I pulled one out of this little
girl’s face.”
In response to the heroic deeds of Chris and Steve, donation sites have been set up.
Here is the one for Chris:
https://www.gofundme.com/3dgkuj-help-chris-parker

The crowdfunding campaign also elicited a response from a woman claiming to be Parker’s mother, who said she had lost touch with her adult son.

“This is my son and I am desperate to get in touch with him,” Jessica Parker wrote. “We have been estranged for a very long time, and I had no idea he
was homeless. I am very proud of him, and I think he might need me right now.”

From:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/05/24/we-had-to-pull-nails-out-of-childrens-faces-homeless-men-helped-after-manchester-blast/?utm_term=.df9202b9f225

Impact and Ideas

This is an excerpt from a report on the New York Times site.  Go there to read it in its entirety:

WASHINGTON — A bill to dismantle the Affordable Care Act that
narrowly passed the House
this month would increase the projected number of people without
health insurance
by 14 million next year and by 23 million in 2026, the
Congressional Budget Office
said Wednesday. That 10-year figure is slightly less than originally estimated.

It would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion over a decade, less than the $150 billion in savings projected in late March for an earlier version
of the bill. And in states that seek waivers from rules mandating essential health coverage, the new law could make insurance economically out of reach
for some sick consumers.

“Premiums would vary significantly according to health status and the types of benefits provided, and less healthy people would face extremely high premiums,” …

The House repeal bill was approved on May 4 by a vote of 217 to 213, without support from any Democrats. It would eliminate tax penalties for people who
go without health insurance and would roll back state-by-state expansions of
Medicaid,
which have provided coverage to millions of low-income people. And in place of government-subsidized insurance policies offered exclusively on the Affordable
Care Act’s marketplaces, the bill would offer tax credits of $2,000 to $4,000 a year, depending on age.

****
You know, it might look like following through with the health care plan from the House would save the government money; but I’m thinking it will cost a lot more in the long run:  People without insurance who become ill will still need care.  They will wait until they are seriously in trouble; then go to their local emergency room; hospitals will take care of them, forgive the debt; then pass the cost on to consumers and funds from government grants, among other sources.  These people will be less able to look for work or continue in their employment as their circumstances worsen…  We will spend money on health care and poverty relief anyway; why not do it right from the beginning.
Another point about services covered by Medicaid and other provisions in the ACA:  Part of the funding that seems to be on the chopping block makes it possible for severely disabled people to stay home and receive care from family members.  This is by far the most compassionate, cost effective approach.  Do away with these resources and those with severe disabilities either die or go to care facilities, hwere they will likely have poorer care.  The bent to do away with funding for people in need is very short sighted and unkind.
Then there’s this idea of a tax credit instead of subsidized insurance:  Most people receiving financial help for their ACA insurance can’t afford to wait a year for a tax credit.

It isn’t fair to complain if I don’t have some ideas for solutions:
*Go after the providers who steal from the government.  They take kfar more away from all of us than all of the “moochers” and legitimate recipients together.
*Have people on the front lines contribute to policy making…those who work in the system; those who live it.  We know more about the ins and outs than anybody in Congress or the White House.
*Increase incentives for making healthy choices, including preventative  care and early intervention.
*Empower natural helpers, such as family care givers.
*Leave the Affordable Health Care Act in place for now; take time to iron out the real bugs.