invincible summers

in the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer. (albert camus)

a message to sarah palin September 2, 2008

Filed under: 2008 election,life,pain,politics — clementine @ 4:34 pm
Tags: , , ,

In November 2006, then gubernatorial candidate Sarah Palin declared that she would not support an abortion for her own daughter even if she had been raped. Granting exceptions only if the mother’s life was in danger, Palin said that when it came to her daughter, “I would choose life.”

This is my message to Ms. Palin:

I was brutally raped at 15. It was such a traumatic experience that I completely blocked it from my memory for nearly 4 years. Suddenly (and something did trigger it) moments of that night flooded my mind. I spent years and years in therapy, very little of which was covered by my insurance company.

Oddly enough I wanted to remember the entire evening, I didn’t want the bits and pieces. A therapist told me, “your mind will only remember what you can handle” and I have lived with that reality. I floated through life struggling with that reality for the next 15 years. During those years I was lost and never in a relationship. However, I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I found a great career after much sadness and struggle. And recently, almost 20 years after the rape, I found a man who loves me…a good man.

However, I cannot imagine adding a child to my equation. It was difficult enough living with the memories of that brutal night. It was extremely difficult going through the very long healing phase. If I had become pregnant from that experience, that child would certainly be a reminder of a horrible evening that ended with me in a bathtub, wearing nothing but a bloody t-shirt. That night changed me. A soccer star who quit the team. A smart girl who couldn’t finish college. A girl afraid to sleep at night unless she kept a knife under her mattress. A trusting girl who suddenly trusted no one. If I was forced to raise a child from that experience-I don’t think I would have made it. Suicide would have most definitely been an option. I know some might say that child could have healed me. I beg you to put yourself in my shoes, in any raped girl’s shoes…what if that child had his nose? his mouth? his eyes? those eyes that still haunt my dreams. The fear and pain would never subside. I don’t wish that pain on anyone.

Think about that, Ms. Palin.

p.s. I’m sure your answer would be, your friends, family and your local church would have surrounded you with support and love. I beg to differ. My church-going parents and sister will not talk about my rape. Most of my friends remain silent when I mention it. I feel like the bad guy, imagine how that child would feel??? This is not your choice or the government’s choice. This is a woman’s choice.


now is the time August 28, 2008

On August 28th, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream Speech” at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

Forty-five long years later, Barack Obama accepted the Democratic Party’s historic nomination to run for president of the United States in front of a crowd of 75,000 people. Mr. Obama is the first African-American to be nominated by a major US party. Tonight was a beautiful night and one I will never forget. Barack Obama’s words (and they are not just words) reminded me why I’ve stuck around even when I didn’t want to. Hope is what gets me up every single day. Hope has been there even in my darkest hours. After my rape at fifteen, during my brief stay in a mental hospital, when I lost my health insurance this year and during the many years from childhood to adulthood when life seemed so hopeless, it was always there…burning inside me… hope…hope has kept me alive. Barack Obama is promising hope and change and I know he will deliver- with our help. Now is the time…this election is about us…each and every one of us.

America, now is not the time for small plans.

Now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy. Michelle and I are only here tonight because we were given a chance at an education. And I will not settle for an America where some kids don’t have that chance. I’ll invest in early childhood education. I’ll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support. And in exchange, I’ll ask for higher standards and more accountability. And we will keep our promise to every young American – if you commit to serving your community or your country, we will make sure you can afford a college education.

Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American. If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don’t, you’ll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves. And as someone who watched my mother argue with insurance companies while she lay in bed dying of cancer, I will make certain those companies stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.

Now is the time to help families with paid sick days and better family leave, because nobody in America should have to choose between keeping their jobs and caring for a sick child or ailing parent.

Now is the time to change our bankruptcy laws, so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses; and the time to protect Social Security for future generations.

And now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day’s work, because I want my daughters to have exactly the same opportunities as your sons.

Sadly, most of America did not hear a few very special stories because mainstream media (to my knowledge) chose not to air them. Even MSNBC cut to their commentators during the following speeches. Thank God for C-SPAN!!! I have decided to share a few of the videos here because they are stories we all need to hear. And a special thank you to the following lovely men and women who spoke tonight:

Roy Gross – Michigan Teamster car transport driver affected by decline in car manufacturing; Monica Early – New to campaigning, this Akron mother & grandmother is an Obama volunteer; Janet Lynn Monacco – Struggling small business owner from Melbourne, FL with health issues; Teresa Asenap – Albuquerque, New Mexico public school worker concerned about economy

Pamela Cash-Roper – Unemployed nurse and lifelong Republican from North Carolina

Barney Smith – Marion, Indiana plant worker – lost job of 30 yrs when plant moved to China


hillary clinton’s health care plan September 19, 2007

Filed under: health care,politics — clementine @ 1:30 pm
Tags: , ,

Desperate times call for drastic change and that is not what Hillary Clinton’s new health care plan (American Health Choices Plan) calls for. Our health care system is broken and we need to see big change in order to fix it. We need to take the profit out of health care. Leaving health care in the hands of insurance companies is not the way to do it. Insurance companies need to be taken out of the equation. Hillary’s solution is a combination of tax credits, unspecified encouragement to drug companies to “offer fair prices,” and promoting “consumer price consciousness in choosing health plans.” Those tax credits will mostly benefit higher income Americans. And people like me, who struggle with the ever-increasing cost of medical bills, insurance premiums and deductibles will likely choose the cheapest plan that provides the worst coverage. Sounds pretty much like what we have now in this broken system.

If you’re in doubt our health care system is broken, check out the statistics here or here or here. Or note American Cancer Society’s plan to spend their entire 2007 advertising budget addressing the health care crisis. Dr. Otis Brawley, incoming chief medical officer of the cancer society, said 1 in 10 cancer patients lack insurance. Almost 560,000 Americans will die from cancer this year, and the American Cancer Society estimates 36,377 cancer patients will die without insurance. (more…)