Archive for December, 2009

Still in Miami, Still Working on Health Care

December 13, 2009

And it’s hard.  This is the hardest campaigning I think I’ve ever had to do. Many are deeply opposed to reform. A Russian woman yelled at me for importing socialism.  A girl attending a public community college complained that she didn’t want to pay for public, community health care.

Many just don’ t care.

And then there are the horror stories.  A man who sold sunscreen couldn’t contribute no matter how much he wanted health care reform because his insurance premiums had just been increased by 60% in the last month.  Another fellow lifted up his shirt to show scars he got in a car crash years before.  He too was suffering from the high costs of health care.  In fact, he enlisted in the army and was about to be sent off to Afghanistan.  His reason for joining up?  He needed government health care, and he needed a job.

No wonder the reports from Washington look bleaker every day.  If you live in Nebraska or Connecticut or Maine (which, if you’re reading this blog, I know you don’t) call your senator.

Happy Hanukah.  Oy vey.

CHAPTER 8: Miami and Ft. Lauderdale

December 6, 2009

I’ve made it to Miami, where I’ll probably stay for the rest of December.  Can’t go wrong with 80 degree weather.

I’m staying with my grandparents in Ft. Lauderdale, which is 30 mins to an hour (depending on traffic) outside of Miami.  I commute in for work.

The Art Basel festival is on this week in Miami.  It’s an international art festival that hosts a week long event each year in France, New York, and Miami.  My favorite piece is The Grand Finale. For this piece the artist, Karmelo Bermejo, lit the word “Recession” on fire.  I mostly like it for the description that accompanies it.  I quote: “By constructing the word ‘Recession’, the work introduces an anomaly in the ostentation of the fireworks, intended by the artist to act as a cathartic moment in the current situation created by the world-wide economic crisis.”  Basically, I think the artist is saying that this recession is bull shit.

CHAPTER 7: Savannah

December 6, 2009

Went to Savannah.  Sofie, the Tunisian fellow who partook in our Hostel Thanksgiving, joined me for the trip.  We spent most of the four-hour car ride talking US politics.  Tunisia is an African country with tremendous European influence.  Like every non-American I’ve talked to recently, he was pro-universal healthcare.

Savannah is a gorgeous city.  Google image search it or go there.

We stayed with a fellow named Al, who we connected with through couchsurfing.org.  Al is an IT guy and, as he puts it on his couchsurfing profile, “a victim of the new economy.”  Despite his unemployment struggles, he was very hospitable.  The political talk continued with him. He is embarrassed by George Bush and supports a single-payer health care system.  But he is also a big fan of Ayn Rand.  And he asked me if I’m one of those people who are offended by the sight of guns.  I said I didn’t think so.  He said great, and pulled the handgun that had been digging into his hip out of his pants.