One City

One City


Bill Moyers, Bill Maher, And Pema Chodron: Health Care Reform

posted by Ethan Nichtern

Below is a video from Real Time with Bill Maher, where journalist Bill Moyers sends a great message to President Obama on standing up for change, and brilliantly diagnoses what’s wrong with our political system, and especially, the non-progressives in the Democratic Party. Again, I think it is very important to realize that the United States an utter anomaly in the world of Capitalist Democracies, the only major country that has so far failed to see health care reform as an issue in the universal public interest. I don’t get it? Why isn’t America a place where we take care of each other?

And should readers feel, as inexplicably sometimes seems the case, that Buddhism should not concern itself with politics (an assertion for which there is precisely zero traditional evidence), here’s the complete interview Moyers did with Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron on his show a few years ago. In both interviews, it’s pretty clear that Moyers is…well…the man. Have a great weekend.


Watch Bill Moyers – On Faith and Reason – Interview with Pema Chodron.wmv in Faith Videos  |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com



Advertisement
Comments read comments(43)
post a comment
Dharmakara

posted August 30, 2009 at 2:29 am


I wouldn’t say that householders should avoid getting involved in politics, but monastics should use care in doing so, if for no other reason than the fact that it becomes impossible to faithfully serve as an impartial advisor to a king or ruler if one has an agenda of their own.



report abuse
 

Marta

posted August 30, 2009 at 2:37 am


President Obama please listen!



report abuse
 

Dharmakara

posted August 30, 2009 at 3:44 am


Here’s an excellent source on Buddhism and politics for reflection:
http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/whatbudbeliev/229.htm



report abuse
 

Ethan

posted August 30, 2009 at 10:11 am


I also argue for why Buddhists need to take an interest in politics in One City.



report abuse
 

Ethan Nichtern

posted August 30, 2009 at 10:17 am

Your Name

posted August 30, 2009 at 11:43 am


Ethan: You’ll get no disagreement out of me about some of the reasons that monks should get involved in some aspects of politics, especially when it comes to the welfare of others, only that it needs to be approached with caution and complete transparency.
A perfect example for monastic and householder alike can be found within the Ghandi’s Satyagraha movement, where they refuse to inflict injury on others and must be willing to shoulder any sacrifice or suffering of the struggle they have initiated, rather than pushing such sacrifice or suffering onto their opponent, always providing a face-saving “way out” for their opponent.
Otherwise one will end up with the nonsense seen in Sri Lanka.
Another aspect of this can be found in regard to Myanmar, where one of the best summations was offered by Matt Milligan in his blog Buddhologie during the mass demonstrations:
“(i) yes the monks are doing a good thing, (ii) the monks have a right to voice their opinion and strive for democracy for an oppressed people, but (iii) the monks are not entirely innocent. Why are they (probably) not entirely innocent? Well, they are choosing now, as opposed to last year, or the year before that, or the year before that, and so on, to protest. The fact is, they have been sustained by the Burmese government for decades and live quite comfortably compared to the rest of the population.”
In other words, this should have happened a long time before, not only when their bowls start to lack in content every morning. There were even a couple senior ranking monks who were involved in the protests who were still driving their gaz-guzzling SUVs around town when the common people didn’t have fuel to cook their meager rations.



report abuse
 

Dharmakara

posted August 30, 2009 at 11:47 am


Sorry… “gas-guzzling SUVs”



report abuse
 

Brian in Seattle

posted August 30, 2009 at 12:40 pm


Why I, as a Buddhist, am against Universal Health Care as now proposed by the Democrats: Buddhism, to my best understanding, simply classifies money as “a means so that people can exchange their life energies” (Ken Mcleod). In this country 55% of the population has some of their “life energy” confiscated by the federal government, and 45% are allowed to keep all of our “life energy” (i.e. pay no taxes). Until this country adopts a system where ALL of us above the poverty line donate an equal share (percentage) of our “life energy” (taxes) I would argue that we live in a system perpetuating suffering. Discriminating and taking different percentages of peoples life-energy is arguagble the largest unseen human rights issue in this country, and I cannot understand why such system is not only ignored by, but also perpetuated and expanded by the vast majority of American Buddhists. I say health care for everyone, donation of an equal amount of life-energy by everyone.



report abuse
 

Alex Nodopaka

posted August 30, 2009 at 12:55 pm


It’s very simple why those who do not want Health Care Reform belong to the class that wants to financially profit from it without regard to the good of their patients. I mean there’re 1,300 insurance companies in the USA with at least 50 in each company making at least $1 million that no longer would earn that from organizing a fleecing entity.



report abuse
 

Dharmakara

posted August 30, 2009 at 1:16 pm


Alex: yes, that sums it up nicely, though I wonder why they don’t just fix Medicare, address its problems, shortcomings and abuses, and then expand its coverage, but maybe the system is so broken that it’s beyond repair.



report abuse
 

Anan E. Maus

posted August 30, 2009 at 2:30 pm


I love Bill Moyers. I met him once. His daughter lived in the town I used to live in.
We were both getting breakfast in this little nook in town. At the same time we got up and heading towards the tiny aisle. He looked at me and said, “after you…” just like a real gentleman from the South.
And mind, you, at the time I had long hair all the way down my back and a big beard…
But I had my moment. I just looked back at him and said…”No, after YOU…”
It is so distressing that the health care issue is causing such division, arguments and viciousness.
I wish we could all stop seeing each other as the enemy and start to try to mutually work together towards the betterment of everyone.
gassho



report abuse
 

Devon

posted August 30, 2009 at 3:12 pm


As a Buddhist, I think something needs to be done about the health care system, but I just don’t think that a socialist nanny state is the best way of going about it.
And Buddhism IS political, insofar as “politics” refers to society and the interaction of people. But it’s not political in the conservative/liberal sense of the word, which is just a distraction, and an artificial duality anyway.



report abuse
 

bob knab

posted August 30, 2009 at 4:45 pm


greetings —————————-
All in the USA are in the same boat!
we live in a society whether we want to or not
not by choice but by chance as such all are
socialist by chance not by choice- we will pay
for health care one way or another chance
is always more expensive than choice perhaps
enlightenment will come to the USA when
America looses its illusion of grandeur _
so this —–
MINEMINE
mine to want
mine to get
i love
i love
my little bit *
mine to have
mine to hold
i love
i love
my heart of gold *
enlighten brain
praying hands
i only pray
for major brands *
Blessings _____bo*k



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted August 31, 2009 at 11:25 am


bo*k, in ref to “MIne MIne MIne” LOL, funnie, but also sad and true.
Devon, in ref to …”And Buddhism IS political, insofar as “politics” refers to society and the interaction of people.” .. I agree



report abuse
 

Ian

posted August 31, 2009 at 11:57 am


“Would the Buddha support Universal Healthcare?”
sure. Fermented urine, anyone?
http://www.materiaetherica.com/urine/buddhamedicine.html
Cheers,
Ian



report abuse
 

Ethan

posted August 31, 2009 at 3:22 pm


@Brian in Seattle: I like your idea of life-energy. However, do we want to say based on that that billionaires have thousands of times as much life energy as working class and poor folks. Can we really say that?
@Devon: Who is talking about a “socialist nanny state?” This is what almost every other western capitalist country already has in some form. Is our fire department a socialist nanny state? Medicare? Public schools? Please define what you mean a bit more.



report abuse
 

ellen9

posted August 31, 2009 at 4:35 pm


@Brian I like the life-energy idea as well, but although poor people may not pay federal income tax, they pay lots of state and local ones — and I highly suspect that they pay some federal ones as well that are not income taxes, depending on their activities.
Interesting to think of a 20% flat tax. If you make $1 billion, living on 80% of that is not much of a problem. If you make $20,000, living on $16,000 could be, esp if you have any children.
And what about all those damn children . . . they don’t make ANY money. Children = negative life energy.
um, right?



report abuse
 

Brian in Seattle

posted September 1, 2009 at 12:09 am


@Ethan: I think we misunderstand each other. We all have the same amount of life-energy. Allow me to give you an example: All of us give 20% of our “life energy” to the government–i.e for every 8 hour work day you give 2 hours of your life energy to the government. A “billionaire” making a billion a year would pay $200,000,000 in taxes, if I make $100,000 I pay $20,000. We both donate our fare share of “life energy”–20%



report abuse
 

Brian in Seattle

posted September 1, 2009 at 12:35 am


@Ellen: As Buddhists I think we need to embrace a political philosophy that creates the least amount of struggle (suffering). Of course those below, or even a some amount above the poverty line should not have their life energy confiscated like the rest of us….but why should I have nearly 40% of my life energy taken, while my brother, who makes a very confortable living off 50k/year have barely 4% of his life energy withheld? The current administration is proposing to widen this “life energy gap” even further (supposedly not to fund for any Health Care, as they have it figured out to “pay for itself”). As a Buddhist, I think this is creating a system that perpetuates suffering. Again, Health Care for all, but let’s be equitable about it.



report abuse
 

Ethan

posted September 1, 2009 at 7:29 am


@Brian: Oh, I understand now. I agree with the premise of what you are talking about.



report abuse
 

Rob

posted September 1, 2009 at 10:51 am


I disagree with the idea that the flat tax is fair. With wealth comes responsibility and privilege. Simply stated: the wealthier one is the more responsibility one assumes. Wealth is not just “life energy”. Great wealth has gravity. At a certain tipping point it will grow faster than one can spend it. The wealthiest 2 men in America, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, both oppose the flat tax. It is regressive.
The wealthy assume the lion’s share of tax responsibility because they also recieve the lion’s share of society’s benefits. For example: contrast and compare the quality of life as it is affected by local social services like schools, police, EPA, Ect. between Bed Stuy and The Upper East Side. Whose school would you rather send your kid to?
As with Sid, the more he got the more he gave, so too is how a progresive tax system should work.



report abuse
 

Ethan

posted September 1, 2009 at 11:24 am


@Robe: yes, currently we have a regressive tax system (have you seen the stats on what a low percentage billionaires pay, for example?) A flat tax without loopholes would actually be an improvement, at least for the super wealthy. Also, I agree that money=life energy only to a certain extent of hard work. Beyond that, it begins to warp into something different. But I like Brian’s idea of all contributing.



report abuse
 

Rob

posted September 1, 2009 at 2:35 pm


@Ethan: I’m down with everybody contributing too.



report abuse
 

Steve

posted September 1, 2009 at 5:38 pm


Americans lack three critical elements that other industrialized democracies have. One is a sense of community. Two is empathy. Three is a sense of responsibility. They do not believe that everyone gains from good universal health care, or education, or culture, or nutrition.



report abuse
 

Ken Altshuler

posted September 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm


Everyone is talking about how to get elected, raise money, or damage the chances of the other party to pass an important piece of legislation. What someone -Pres. Obama especially- should be talking about is what’s good for the country. And what needs to be emphasized is the damage that will ensue if health care legislation is not passed. And how that damage will be unavoidable and grave, and that the legislators -who should be named- will be held responsible by the electorate for the harm they have done.



report abuse
 

Austin30KELLEY

posted March 30, 2010 at 5:33 pm


If you want to buy a car, you will have to receive the home loans. Moreover, my mother always uses a short term loan, which occurs to be the most rapid.



report abuse
 

Marcy

posted June 10, 2010 at 6:41 pm


I believe I allready have been told about this subject
at job 1 day ago by a mate, but at that time
it didn’t caugh my attention.



report abuse
 

Tissot V8 Watch

posted June 26, 2010 at 12:49 pm


To be a upright charitable being is to have a philanthropic of openness to the in the seventh heaven, an gift to trusteeship undeterminable things beyond your own control, that can govern you to be shattered in uncommonly extreme circumstances for which you were not to blame. That says something remarkably important with the condition of the principled autobiography: that it is based on a conviction in the unpredictable and on a willingness to be exposed; it’s based on being more like a spy than like a prize, something kind of tenuous, but whose very special attractiveness is inseparable from that fragility.



report abuse
 

Aisha

posted July 11, 2010 at 5:19 pm


n harry’s life, at some pass‚, our inner fire goes out. It is then blow up into flame by an be faced with with another magnanimous being. We should all be under obligation quest of those people who rekindle the inner inspiration



report abuse
 

Jack

posted July 16, 2010 at 6:11 am


In the whole world’s sustenance, at some pass‚, our inner pep goes out. It is then bust into zeal by an be faced with with another hominoid being. We should all be under obligation recompense those people who rekindle the inner spirit



report abuse
 

Anna

posted July 17, 2010 at 5:41 pm


In harry’s time, at some pass‚, our inner fire goes out. It is then break asunder into flame beside an face with another benign being. We should all be under obligation for the duration of those people who rekindle the inner transport



report abuse
 

Anna

posted August 20, 2010 at 3:44 pm


In the whole world’s existence, at some time, our inner pep goes out. It is then burst into enthusiasm at hand an be faced with with another hominoid being. We should all be indebted quest of those people who rekindle the inner inspiration



report abuse
 

buy custom essay papers

posted November 18, 2010 at 2:20 am


A most correct way to know the supreme data close to this post is to buy custom essay papers. Therefore, do not waste you time and money, just buy term papers to be fully satisfied!



report abuse
 

buy research paper

posted December 28, 2010 at 6:52 am


This is known that the distinguished annotated bibliography writing service will be able to provide people with persuasive term paper. Furthermore, bright people would be able to save their time.



report abuse
 

buy an essay

posted January 8, 2011 at 9:59 am


The world includes fascinating things. For me, a chance to order custom essay is great. People should value everything that our life give us!



report abuse
 

buy an essay

posted March 4, 2011 at 2:51 am


Thank you for the very good information about this good topic. It is worth to buy custom essay papers about this topic.



report abuse
 

thesis writing service

posted March 9, 2011 at 7:20 pm


Your superb release about this good post would be free for people, just because they demand buy thesis service and high quality dissertations or just thesis help.



report abuse
 

buy an essay

posted March 11, 2011 at 8:09 am


Buy custom essay papers and custom written essays and be sure you have full facts about this topic*.



report abuse
 

thesis

posted March 13, 2011 at 3:12 pm


Different scholars would like to find the legal dissertation related to this good post. If they get know about your great article, they will plausibly purchase the thesis writing.



report abuse
 

dissertation writing

posted March 15, 2011 at 4:37 pm


It is manifestly that writing service could offer the notices about buy dissertation hence, you would without the efforts order essay and thesis about this post



report abuse
 

dissertation writing

posted March 16, 2011 at 11:10 pm


People are willing to get a PhD degree, but what is the right way to get it? We can suggest to search for the thesis service to order the thesis write about this post at. I tried this and reseived good grade.



report abuse
 

vêtement femme

posted May 18, 2011 at 11:19 pm


Your article pretty good, it is worth a look, and that I can learn something, good good



report abuse
 

moncler jackets cheap

posted August 17, 2011 at 5:06 am


i just for look around ,this is good blog i will supply it



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting One City. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Most Recent Buddhist Story By Beliefnet Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!

posted 2:29:05pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Mixing technology and practice
There were many more good sessions at the Wisdom 2.0 conference this weekend. The intention of the organizers is to post videos. I'll let you know when. Here are some of my notes from a second panel. How do we use modern, social media technologies — such as this blog — to both further o

posted 3:54:40pm May. 02, 2010 | read full post »

Wisdom 2.0
If a zen master were sitting next to the chief technical officer of Twitter, what would they talk about? That sounds like a hypothetical overheared at a bar in San Francisco. But this weekend I saw the very thing at Soren Gordhamer's Wisdom 2.0 conference — named after his book of the same nam

posted 1:43:19pm May. 01, 2010 | read full post »

The Buddha at Work - "All we are is dust in the wind, dude."
"The only true wisdom consists of knowing that you know nothing." - Alex Winter, as Bill S. Preston, Esq. in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure"That's us, dude!" - Keanu Reeves, as Ted "Theodore" LoganWhoa! Excellent! I've had impermanence on my mind recently. I've talked about it her

posted 2:20:00pm Jan. 28, 2010 | read full post »

Sometimes You Find Enlightenment by Punching People in the Face
This week I'm curating a guest post from Jonathan Mead, a friend who inspires by living life on his own terms and sharing what he can with others.  To quote from Jonathan's own site, Illuminated Mind: "The reason for everything: To create a revolution based on authentic action. A social movemen

posted 12:32:23pm Jan. 27, 2010 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.