Friday, October 23, 2009

Event: It's Friday. Some videos.

Not silly stuff this week. But engaging and worthwhile.

Also: Watch this one on Facebook videos.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Concept: It's Friday. Here is some stilly stuff, therefore.

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Event: My letter to the newspapers.

Dear editors,

Most Americans understand now that health care reform is necessary. Most of us, eighty percent according to some polls, support a public option. The economic analysis and historical precedents have been examined; nobody proposes we go where angels fear to tread. No death panels, and no debt inflation. The public option is, quite simply, the muscle. It's what will make the reform meaningful. What will make it work.

So why does this option seem to be slipping further and further toward the horizon?

Quite simply, the insurance and drug industries have more money than the scattered public. These industries are better organized and have deployed their resources effectively. They have fought this fight with the same single-minded discipline with which they deny millions of legitimate claims.

What seems to be missing from the debate is the righteous anger and indignation that is the only appropriate answer to the outrages of the health care crises. People are dying out here. Careers are ruined. Health is lost. Long lives are cut short because treatable problems are unfixed.

John McCain rightly said this week that "elections have consequences." If this is truly the case, then the public option should pass by wide margins. I urge all reasonable Americans, the Americans who have seriously considered the public option and know how reasonable and even necessary it is, to pick up your phones and write your emails. Give your representatives the pressure and the political cover to push this thing through, and to make it stick.

This issue is too important to leave at the voting booth. It needs to be heard and read. Share your anger. I've shared mine. Now it's your turn.

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Event: My letter to Sen. Dick Durbin.

Dear Senator Durbin,

I am a Michigan transplant who has been living and voting in Chicago for the better part of the last ten years.

I am writing you today about an issue that will supersede in importance the life of the auto industry; this is a bold statement for me to make as many of my family and many friends are or were employed by GM.

It is not enough to desire a public option in the effort to reform health care. We must *demand* it. Now I recognize that the diversity and recent development of the Democratic party makes consensus and coalitions difficult. But quite simply, this is what you were all elected to do, and your constituency is vastly in favor of the public option. I am reasonable, and I recognize that insisting on a public option will cause some risk to the entire reform initiative, and will entail short-term political liabilities. But this risk will be repaid with a robust and meaningful reform, just as immediate dips in the polls will be more than balanced by what will be increasingly seen as a historic long-term victory.

Not to be confused with the skeletal acquiescent "reform" increasingly represented by the proposal of Sen. Baucus.

A public option is essential. Any reform stripped of this option will not accomplish what must be accomplished, and the problem will resurface down the line.

Voters like myself, loyal liberals and Democrats with a variety of views have held out through the discouraging years of the Bush administration, when the slimmest of Republican majorities set a policy that we found as repugnant as it was regressive. With the strong numbers of Democrats in both the legislative and executive branches, this is a victory we insist upon.


Connor Coyne

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Friday, October 09, 2009

Diary: Should I Call It Platform Surfing?

Sometimes, if I get onto the CTA platform and an outbound train is waiting with no inbound train in sight, I'll hop on the outbound train and ride north, and catch my train to work further up the line. It's fun. It adds a little variety to my morning. It means I'm more likely to get a good seat, and if someone looks like they need a seat, I can always offer it to them (something many passengers are not always inclined to do). In the past I've ridden as far north as Thorndale, which is three stops out and about two miles away.

This morning I added a bit of a gamble to this game. An inbound train had just left, an outbound train was waiting for me, and the next inbound was just setting out from Bryn Mawr, less than a mile away. I hopped on the northbound train, got off one stop up at Berwyn, and caught the southbound train just as it pulled into the station.

It didn't save me any time.

But it was fun, and that's what Fridays are for.

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