Benny's World

Friday, June 10, 2005

JRE's B-Day and Inspiration

Yesterday my spouse and I were travelling in our Jennae and listening to Anne Murray. There was a song that really resonated with me, as it did with my spouse years ago. The song is called "On the Other Side".

I was thinking of one of my friends whom I saw at my conference a few days ago. He has been hurting personally because of his relationship with a woman he's lived with for many years, and now he's living like the War of the Roses, except it doesn't sound like there is any animosity. But he lives in the basement of his own home, with emotional barriers all around.

Like all of us, my friend is experiencing pain, confusion, and deep disappointment. Perhaps doubt too. JRE, when he lost his son, when he and John Kerry lost the election, and when Elizabeth announced she had cancer, has always looked at the other side:

On the other side of doubt is faith
On the other side of pain lies strength
The journey may seem endless
And You know the road is rough
But on the other side of fear... is love

John, I wish you the best birthday today for helping us all think about the Other Side and inspiring us. To my hurting friend, this too shall pass.

Have some cake.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

From Toronto: Globalization Next Door

JRE's last post on TPMCafe was about Globalization. You can click the link to read it.

Here was my response:

The past couple of days I have been in Toronto, and I'm posting a comment in the East Asian section of town in a Net Cafe. Most of the folks are using the Net are diverse in backgrounds. Granted this is Toronto, but they embrace more aspects of multiculturalism.

I have been asked for money only once. I've seen maybe 5 homeless people tops, although I'm staying in the financial district. I take the subway, and I'm not afraid, even at night. Still, when I've been in NYC, there are more homeless everywhere and folks are force in seeking a handout because our government is admant in not providing a hand-up. I'm convinced that part of it is our poor coverage of health insurance.

I know the Europeans do a pretty good job with health insurance coverage, which is a good thing since unemployment rates are a bit higher there. Also, I would argue that our employment rates appear lower because many folks quit looking for work after a certain point.

Back to Canada, I learned from a Canadian business/labor librarian that awhile back the Globe & Mail did a poll about who Canadians admired the most. My spouse thought it was Wayne Greztky (sorry, not certain how to spell his last name); instead it was Tony Douglas, the man who institutionalized National Health Insurance.

I think many Americans admired FDR for Social Security. We need more progressives in our government who have forward-thinking approaches as Tony Douglas, to make a mark and work on eradicating poverty. JRE, I'm glad you are one of those men. But I would argue has to done with care and in increments.

Toronto is a great place to visit! Back to the SLA conference!