Saturday, January 23, 2021
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Which Flag Would That Be, Mr. President?

Oblivious. More than frightening. If so out of touch about his own base, how horribly can his administration be fumbling complex issues home and...

Are Republicans Responsible for VMI Student’s Death?

 photo Virginia_Military_Institute_Keydets01_zpsh9knbb0w.jpgThey certainly have done nothing to deliver health care to rural Virginia. Cadet Hoang collapsed during training on Monday, treated at the scene, transported to the school's infirmary, then transferred to the local Carillion Stonewall Jackson Hospital. The question begged: what if millions had been invested in local healthcare infrastructure?

Tragedies like this occur. It is not that the young cadet collapsed during training from what well may have been a congenital condition; it is that the standard of care available in rural Virginia is subpar. At least Lexington has a hospital of sorts. Much of rural Virginia has no immediate facility. There is demand; it is just not operationalized in the marketplace. But this situation draws attention to the fact that even those who have health insurance suffer from the failure to expand Medicaid. You can have the best insurance in the world but if there is no facility in reach, it does not matter. What would have been different if $2.5 billion dollars had provided the incentive to expand service across the state?

Every step in the decision making process during crisis is guided by the conditions extant. What would the response during Hoang's emergency have been if those responding weren't faced with the fact that the closest urgent care facility wasn't an hour away from Lexington in Waynesboro and that the goal for being seen by a physician after triage at the local hospital emergency room in Lexington was something more impressive than 40 minutes; yes, that is from the hospital's website. The young man might have been taken directly to a facility actually staffed and equipped for immediate emergency intervention rather than to the school infirmary.

We will never know. What we do know is that the options for everyone living in Lexington and the rest of rural Virginia would be different and significantly better with the infusion of millions of those billions of dollars locally. But Republicans are dead set against allowing the marketplace to function. And Lexington is far from being as isolated as many localities. Thousands of Virginians are suffering and dying unnecessarily as a direct result of Republican intransigence.  

the violence of Patriots’ Day

in 1775, the outbreak of the American Revolution.  The British marched  from Boston to seize arms accumulated by Americans.  The 1st shots were fired at Lexington, the badly outnumbered Americans fell back. The next engagement was at Concord. By then several hundred Americans had gathered, At North Bridge they drove the British back, and as the Redcoats retreated towards Boston, continued to fire upon them from behind rocks and trees.  More troops marched from Boston to rescue the endangered column. they retreated to Boston, where the colonists cut them off and began the siege of Boston.

This is an important day in Beantown, one experienced as a Marine '66.  The Post band at Quantico, came up, playing at a gathering the night before. We were near Concord Bridge for the ceremonies the next morning (only 20 feet  from the cannon firing every minute), finishing the day at the end of the Marathon on a day when the Japanese finished 1-2-3-4.

Like other Americans, my memories of the date are clouded by violence of a different kind -  the 1993 siege of the Branch Davidians in Waco, and two the terrorism of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols at the Alfred P. Murrah Building.

Today I reflect upon violence.