Sunday, August 30, 2009

Saying Goodbye to the Liberal Lion of the Senate

Xposted on LeftFace

Yesterday, I watched the funeral of Senator Kennedy while in the waiting room of the Toyota Dealer, which meant I had nowhere to go, nothing I could do other than watch, knit, and remember. Remember when I was young and President Kennedy was assassinated, the sorrow and shock; when I was older and Bobby was killed, the shock and anger. This Kennedy was put to rest after a long life, this was a celebration of his life, with his large family around him, saying goodbye to "Le Grand Fromage". There were tears, laughter, homage and stories of a complex man; not a perfect human being by any means. A man of great wealth, who worked tirelessly for the less fortunate; a man of questionable decisions in his private life, who was a committed campaigner for the causes he felt strongly about; a dedicated and unabashed Liberal, willing to reach across the aisle and work with his best friend, the very conservative Orrin Hatch. As one of the women in our discussion group, HellCatBetty, said:
He was such an admirable man; passionate about the things he believed in (which I happen to agree with), but also a true American that believed that no matter what your beliefs/politics, The Constitution provides and protects the opportunity for you to express yourself.

He was the rallying cry for both parties, the conservative camp vowing to block him and his policies; the liberal camp vowing to back him in those same policies. We've forgotten that he learned to work with his opponents, while holding fast to his principles of aid to those in need. Another commenter in our discussion -
Ted had a few things in his past that bothered me, but I always loved that he was fighting for people who wouldn't have had a voice otherwise. Through his family, wealth, and connections, he could have done whatever he wanted -- looted Wall Street, lived off the family name and investments, whatever. Instead, he chose public service, to represent folks who weren't anything like him, and I think that is awesome. I'll miss him something terrible.

We didn't avoid talking about Chappaquiddick, nor did he. His decisions that night were deplorable, wrong, and despicably foolish. His drinking bouts were legendary and idiotic, a weakness that he acknowledged in later life. Whether he only went into politics because of his father's urging and because his brothers told him to, we don't know. But it's what he DID for the country, for the poor, the disabled and yes, the military, that counts for me.

There are many pages devoted to his legislative accomplishments and I culled the list below from many of them - but this is NOT the comprehensive list.

Civil Rights Act of 1991, Protection and Advocacy for Mentally Ill Individuals Act of 1986, the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act of 1990, the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act of 1993, the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act of 1994, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, the Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act of 1997, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in 1997 (“HIPAA”), the Children's Health Act of 2000, the Project BioShield Act of 2003, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act of 2005, the FDA Amendments Act of 2007, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008. In 1972 he helped push the Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Program (WIC. In 2000, the Public Health Threats and Emergencies Act and in 2002 the Bioterrorism Preparedness Act. 1992 Mammography Quality Standards Act, and in 2009 he introduced the 21st Century Cancer Access to Life-Saving Early detection, Research and Treatment (ALERT), in 2003 he helped make the Medicare changes to allow for more use of generic drugs. 2007 Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and the Civil Rights Act of 2008, which forbids the discrimination against men and women in uniform by their employers. The Immigration Act of 1965, and the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Reform Act of 2002. Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 1993. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which became law in 1978. Early Head Start, created by Senator Kennedy in 1994. Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, and the TRIO programs for college students, Basic Educational Opportunity Grant (Pell Grants Thank you Ted) and Title IX, Workforce Investment Act of 1998, College Cost Reduction Act of 2007, Higher Education Opportunity Act in 2008. National and Community Service Trust Act of 1990, which established AmeriCorps in 1993, and the Serve America Act of 2009. Raised the minimum wage twice. Pension Protection Act of 2006. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, National Military Child Care Act of 1989, and introduced National Month of the Military Child in 2008. National Guard and Reserve Mental Health Access Act of 2008. 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, Crime Victims and Disabilities Awareness Act of 1998, The Rehabilitation, Comprehensive Services and Developmental Disabilities Amendments of 1978

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Senator Kennedy

RIP Teddy. Your dream of universal healthcare isn't done yet, but we are working on it. For all your faults, your past, your foibles, your mistakes - you were a passionate liberal, you refused to be ashamed of that honourable label, you worked hard for the causes you believed in. We'll miss you.

I'm already seeing some revolting remarks by people from whom I expected some semblance of taste and class. How sad that they cannot wait a few hours to begin their nastiness.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I know. I know... I KNOW!!!

I owe y'all a large post about the great fun we had. I know, I owe y'all something decent written with care. But I'm addicted - to something new. My blogs are suffering, the blog I share with great friends is too, the apartment is a wreck. And why, you ask? (and you really don't give a rip, but I'm being egotistical today)

KNITTING! On the shared blog - we have a great friend, who loves to knit and is so enthusiastic about it, her nickname is the neighbourhood crack dealer of knitting. Many trips to Michaels later, I have a tote, various sizes of needles, yarn (and I have a huge bin of yarn left over from crochet projects and from my mother's stash as well), patterns and I even joined Ravelry online - to look for more yarn, patterns.... it's an addiction!

so forgive the lack of writing. I'll get my act together soon - my knitting will go back to being something else I do, instead of the ONLY thing I've done. k1, p1, YO....


Friday, August 14, 2009

Waiting for -----

No, not Godot. waiting for three of my "imaginary friends" - fellow bloggers on Left Face! they are coming to town to meet, greet, eat! and do the whole tourist thing. I'm so glad to be having them here, wish the others could be here as well.

Let's see - beds made, food (and beer) in fridge, the good Pride and Prejudice ready (Colin Firth IS Mr. Darcy) knitting needles ready (we are all learning to knit, thanks to our friend Lopsided Mom). I'm ready!

Talk to y'all after this weekend, there's so much to talk about, isn't there?


Friday, August 07, 2009

something useful

I love my IPod. I love being able to get my BBC podcasts and listen to them while I'm on the Metro or at work (some very LOUD attorneys on my hall, who do conferences by speaker phone). So when it froze up completely the other day, I was NOT happy. It had been acting up for a few days. took a couple more taps to get to menu etc. What to do... find the Apple Store and stand in line for hours - no, I don't have time for that. Think!

Googled IPod diagnostics - and voila! I'm sure lots of you knew this, but if you didn't, this could save you a trip/wait or some frustration.


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Jet Lag - Exhaustion Haze

So, I got back Sunday afternoon, and went to work yesterday. 300+ emails, some the "using printer 2 for large project", but many of substance... and nothing was computing in my head! trying to get the insurance/bank bit accomplished, calling mortgage company, dealing with workmen by phone, trying to get with realtor, renters, mortgage company, and all while feeling fuzzyheaded. I even had to tell one of the attorneys that I really wasn't going to be able to help him out until the next day - I couldn't rely on my work product to be accurate with the way I was feeling.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the fact that I got an extra day with Chief by both of us flying out on the last possible day. But I coulda used a day without being at work to recover - napping would be a start! And the house is bare of essentials - need a commissary run big time - but tonight is my night to clean cat cages at Petsmart/FancyCats. I'm unpacked, which is good. If I don't unpack right away, that suitcase could be standing in the corner for a few days - and that could be bad, if you know what I mean! I've been doing laundry - but I'm running out of detergent - need to put that on the list as well.

A good night's sleep last night helped. I'm almost feeling human. got bills paid, got cheques deposited (LOVE the online cheque deposit from USAA) and now hoping that the work day will feel better. Need to write reviews for the hotels we stayed in, the thank you letter to the last one....


Monday, August 03, 2009

I'm Back! Not happily, but I'm back.

So - anyone who was wondering (and my latest stats say very few of you are there) - I'm Back from our wonderful damp, cool, superb, glorious 2 week R&R in Scotland and Ireland. We had a great time - somethings went great, somethings didn't. I'll post some pictures and a bit of a travelogue when I'm not a little jetlagged, and a lot sad. Talked to Chief on the phone early this morning - he was in the airport lounge waiting for his trip to the less damp, cool spot he calls "home" for now... and I'm sad.

One not so nice thing - some jackass cretin bozo has hacked ParentsZone - and I'm not sure how much can be recovered. Karma will hit this person upside the head, sooner I hope.