Archive for December 21st, 2010

21
Dec
10

Pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Bill Update

Pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Bill Update

Senator Gillibrand and 9/11 Bill Supporters

It it weren’t so serious the analogy to a Mets game would feel apropos.  The sort of game where your heart-is-in-your-mouth because every pitch is a game changer that can mean the difference between winning or losing.  The problem is the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act is not a game, it is a very real necessity for the tens of thousands of first responders who have sought out monitoring and treatment.

So why is that the Republican Party is *still* obstructing passage?  As of this afternoon, Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma is continuing to affirm his intention to block the bill.  He claims that the bill is a “rush job” (how can that be when it was debated in the committee he sits on this past June?), but is also clearly griping at the price tag, which makes no sense since the Democrats have found a way to pay for it.  One would think that would be “win-win,” but no, folks with severe asthma, COPD and other serious respiratory disorders must continue to wait and wait and wait.

As my grandmother used to say, that sort of thing is a “shonda,” a shame, a shame that continues to disgrace our very understanding of what is right and what it wrong.

Meanwhile today, a group of ardent 9/11 supporters descended on capital hill to plea their case.  Let us hope that they manage to sway the seeming frozen hearts of those who oppose this bill and what it stands for.

Links to articles are here and here.

New York Senator Gillibrand’s heartfelt plea is here.

21
Dec
10

Miles Davis and me

Miles Davis and me

While I used to listen to my mother’s John Coltrane and Miles Davis records when I was a young child, I discovered jazz for myself when I turned 12.  My grandmother had given me a small portable AM/FM radio and fiddling with the dial I came across the radio station WLIB.  This was 1966 — and at 4:00 each afternoon, Jazz pianist Billy Taylor opened his show with Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage.

What I waited and hoped for each day though was the chance to hear something by Miles Davis.  Billy Taylor usually obliged with tunes from Miles Davis’ ESP or Miles Smiles albums or a song like So What from such newly minted classics as Davis’ Kind of Blue album.

Years and years later training with Johnny Grinage down at Gleason’s, Johnny used to talk about Miles the boxer.  I’ve never really heard the speed-bag in his trumpet, but I still love the thought that the staccato of his solos could have come from his days of training in the ring.




December 2010
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