Aug 8, 2009

Justice: A gift of divided governance.

Sonia Sotomayor will become the 111 Justice of the United States Supreme Court today. Chief Justice John Roberts will swear her in during a private ceremony at the Supreme Court.

I wrote about the importance of empathy in May (Empathy: The first gift of human civilization) when President Barrack Obama nominated Sotomayor. And in April I discussed the value of government (Government: A gift from the founders to US.) When the United States Senate confirmed Sotomayor on Thursday, the president said we had taken another step toward a more perfect union. As the the third woman and third non-white member of the Court Sotomayor will give us justice just like each of the previous Justices.

In my country there are people who would deny citizens justice. 31 US Senators voted "no" on justice when the President's nominee was presented to them. In essence they were saying she can't be fair or impartial because she is a woman and a latina. Many of these Senators stood to speak their mind on this topic. They sound to me as anti-government, anti-justice and anti-democracy as any member of the anarchist groups I've been involved with in the past. When the Republicans in office sound like anarchists attacking government with a vehemence once reserved only for the truly disturbed you must wonder if our system can ever work. Can we ever have a civil discussion of ideas?

These supposed freedom loving folk have now turned their attention to lying and bullying their way thru August helping insurance companies stay in control of the ever increasing costs and ever diminishing quality of outcomes in our health care system. If they are successful, our health care system will continue to limp along with the highest cost buying us the 37th, 54th, or 72nd best results. We can't let this happen. We have to do a few things:
1) Support government. Government is good. Our government provides many important functions one of which should be to lead on health care. Along with freedom of speech, public common spaces and thoroughfares, rights to bear arms and train for common defence, the right to be healthy is, and should be guaranteed.
2) Support a new approach to the healthcare system. We have to change the way we're doing it because paying so much for so little is stupid. It will bankrupt us.
3) Speak out, not just to your elected reps but to your friends and neighbors, especially if they disagree with your position. Talk with respect and dignity to your adversaries.

If we do these things across the country we can change the health care system for the better.

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