Saturday, July 31, 2004

A Letter to John Forbes Kerry or Speaking Out

Dear Senator Kerry,

My name is ._________. I am a __ year old woman who lives in Lexington, Kentucky. I am physically handicapped, and, up until this electoral year I had a firm belief nothing I truly did, even in voting, would make any difference in the outcome of the election or in the nation. Many years ago I lost the faith in due process and am only now beginning to think, just maybe, things could be different in this nation.

Although I am a registered Republican, in the main election you will have my vote. You will also have the vote of my husband.

Senator Kerry, whether or not you personally receive this letter is a moot point: I understand someone will read this letter, and perhaps, pass its contents along to you. In so saying this I would like to point out a few items I am deeply concerned about and would like to voice them to you at this time.

I am a physically handicapped individual. I have been physically handicapped my entire life. Despite my handicap I worked and then had to take disability because of even further decreased health. Because of this I am on Social Security Disability and therefore on Medicare.

Because of this I cannot work, even though there are times during the warm months of the summer there is a possibility of a short span of work opportunity for any extra income, because I need my benefits and my husband and I cannot afford my medical expenses without Medicare and the disability income. Even if I am unable to work, the Medicare system is so shot at this time it does not assist in paying much of my medical bills.

My husband, is working as a custodian at a local university even though he has a degree in Applied Mechanical Science in Computer Animated Design Drafter because this was the only place he was able to secure work and provide me with medical insurance, as well as himself. He sent out his resumes for over a year, so secured this position to keep our household fed and our bills paid. We are members of the working poor. We are not even in the Middle Class income bracket.

Whether or not we are members of the Middle Class, I believe everyone’s voice could be heard, so am lifting mine.

1) We need a system overhaul of Medicare to help each and every individual, not just the elderly.

2) We need an employment opportunity in order to further the security of our household and reach toward the American Dream which has been illusive despite how hard we work.

3) The minimum wage needs to be increased in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, as well as the nation.

Some examples of how this could be done is with alternative energy sources such as thermal, hydro-electric, solar, wind turbines, and the legalization of hemp as a potential alternative to our fossil fuels. This would also help our environment tremendously as there is over 5000 different uses, currently known. Everything that is made by petroleum can be made by hemp, including concrete, clothing, plastic, and paper.

The use of hemp would help save our trees as you yourself said “trees are the cathedrals of nature.” We should indeed try to save them and thus ourselves.

There are other plants than hemp that grow faster than trees and could be used more readily.

And yes, my husband and I both know hemp is different from marijuana.

4) Public transportation and tourist trains would also help the economy. Better bike trails and transportation for handicapped individuals would also help the economy of Kentucky as well as the nation itself.

5) Better pay for our firefighters and policemen and women should also be more formalized. In Lexington, Kentucky the policemen and women are still working even though their pay is far below the national limit. Because of their selflessness, my husband and I have even more respect and admiration for them.

6) Both my husband and I believe natural medicines and herbal supplements should have a better standard upon them.

My husband and I have had to look to natural medicines because of the high cost of medicines. Many doctors I have had to see have discounted the natural medicines and herbal supplements, even though they help and have been used for thousands of years. In this nation natural medicines have been scoffed at as a New Age fad or health nuts, when in reality all medicine are based on these plants.

It is a shame many children are prescribed Prozac® when perhaps St. John’s Wort would be just as effective, or just talking to the child and having parental guidance and love.

Another example is my mother, whom I recently lost due to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Congestive Heart Failure and kidney failure. During her long struggle with these horrible diseases and having to watch her slowly wither and die before me, there were many drugs she could have used to help extend her life and make the quality of her life better, but they were unavailable due to cost.

She had to take special shots called Procrit® to help her gain strength and morphine for pain, but it took away her appetite and sometimes made her very sick to her stomach, so therefore she had to have another medicine to settle her stomach, which took away her appetite; we then had to give her another medicine to help her get her stomach.

The medicine to help her regain her appetite grew too expensive so we discovered Elder Tonic which would help her get her appetite back. Still, sometimes when she ate she was still very sick to her stomach.

A nurse said there was a medicine that could help with her appetite called Merinol® that would help increase her appetite, settle her stomach, and perhaps help with pain. This drug was approximately $900 for one month’s supply which neither she, nor anyone in the family could afford. Her insurance company would not cover this medicine either, and the doctors were afraid to prescribe it to her.

Their reluctance led me and my husband to research Merinol® and discovered it was THC, the active ingredient in marijuana and in your own brain naturally for pain.

By the time of my research, I discovered the pain relieving aspect of the drug had been removed or reduced drastically so that it was only for appetite. It was this particular form of the drug that was over $900 for a monthly supply.

This led me to question why marijuana was illegal when cigarettes, the cause of my mother’s pain and eventual death, were not. It also led me to wonder why, in a state marijuana is legal under a doctor’s prescription, such as California, the DEA is arresting the doctors and places that prescribe it.

I worked for the Social Security Administration and had to listen to alcoholics explain their disease to me, and yet alcohol is legal. This does not make common sense.

I do not propose alcohol be banned, we are far from the 1920s, but, possibly, the legalization of marijuana. Marijuana should not be legalized to the point where sixteen year old children could get it from a store (but they could get it as it is now), but as with alcohol and cigarettes there should be an age-limit as to its purchase. Cigarettes are simply bad for you, whereas tobacco is not in itself. Alcohol is not bad for you, but you should use it in reason. If anything should be banned it is cigarettes. They kill.

It is time our nation became progressive in the view of health and preventative health care (such as exercise in elementary schools and up; exercise that is interesting to kids such as martial arts, archery, dance, etc.) and its medicines.

7) Stem cell research and partial birth abortion is one subject I am hesitant to list. I am not in favor of partial birth abortion for the harvesting of stem cells for research. A life is a life. The placenta and the afterbirth can easily be used for the harvesting of stem cells. Partial birth abortion should never be considered for this harvesting. To do so would be condoning murder.

Thank you very much Mr. Kerry for listening to someone who hopes you will be a good President of the United States of America and live up to your word. We truly indeed “should be on the side of God” for our nation, for each other, and for the betterment of humanity.

We should be concerned with removing the plank from our own eye before we turn our attention to our brother’s splinter, as the verse says.

A Voter

This is a copy of a letter written by a dear friend of mine. In following her example, I believe I too will write a letter to John Forbes Kerry. Perhaps he really and truly is the JFK of this generation.

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