Author Archive

Really, Mr Romney? Really? Uninsured Then and Now

by , posted on Sunday, October 7th, 2012 at 3:42 pm

I was eight the day I grew up. I know that’s too young, really. But life is hard, and we all have to buck up and grow up someday. It’s just that some of us have to grow up when we’re younger than others. For me it was eight. I remember the moment. At age eight I found out the world is unfair and that terribly unfair circumstances can take away your life or the life of someone you love.

It was the middle of the night and I was sitting by myself on a folding chair placed along the wall of a long dark empty hallway outside the emergency room of our small community hospital. It was 1956. My mom was inside talking to the two doctors who had been wakened in the middle of the night to come to the ER to tend to me. I could hear voices coming from inside the room, but not words. I thought I could hear my mom crying. They were talking about me.



The Great Opportunity Rip Off

by , posted on Friday, July 27th, 2012 at 12:45 pm

I am a first generation American. My father was born in 1918 on a small island off the coast of Norway. He never finished high school. I grew up poor in the middle of a wealthy area of the Chicago suburbs dreaming about going to college with no financial ability to do so. I saw education as a way to climb out of our poverty and a sure ticket into the middle class.

I was taught that America is the land of opportunity and all I had to do was work for it. And so I did.

I worked two part-time jobs to fund my first year of college. Then I got married and 3 children intervened. When I was set to return to school, Reagan had just taken office and access to loans and grants had all but dried up. And so, without knowing anything about non-violent direct civil action, I did my first act of non-violent direct civil action.



The Death of the Family Farm and the Death of Real Capitalism

by , posted on Monday, June 25th, 2012 at 7:00 am

It was 1921. He was a young man with a bunch of hopes and dreams, just barely twenty, and entering this country from Sweden with a trunk as his only possession. He came from the farms of Sweden hoping to some day buy a farm in America. Someone there had told him it might be possible to own a farm here. It was a wild dream really, but one in which he believed.

In Sweden he knew it was an impossible dream. All the farms and all the land was owned by a small group of large moneyed families and rented out in parcels to tenants. Reuben’s family had been tenant farmers for generations and generations, able to eke out a living but never able to build a secure foundation from which a family can grow. As far back as records can document, no one in his family had ever owned any of the land they farmed.

And so for over two decades in America, Reuben toiled the land. Milked the cows. Learned to read and write English. Fell in love. Married a farmer’s daughter named Rose. Had three boys. And did buy that farm.