Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Health Empowerment Event, An Open Letter from Chomsky, Morello, Ellsberg, Swanson, et al

From: Jeff Cohen []
Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 7:56 PM

An Open Letter to Opponents of Aggressive, Undeclared,
and Unconstitutional Invasions, Wars and Occupations

This open letter will be straight to the point--if you opposed the Bush/Cheney invasion of Iraq--if you knew Bush and Blair were lying about the Downing Street Memo--if you wanted (and still want) Guantanamo shut down--if you oppose the "secret" drone wars--if you opposed the Obama "surge" in Afghanistan--then there is one anti-war candidate running for Congress this year who stands head and shoulders above everyone else--Norman Solomon.

In fact, if you have demonstrated against any of the undeclared, unconstitutional wars that the U.S. has waged over the last 40 years, from Vietnam to El Salvador to Iraq, Norman Solomon was right there with you. He marched; he was arrested for nonviolent protest; he wrote and spoke out; he organized high-profile peace missions to Iraq and Afghanistan; he led the fight for "Healthcare, Not Warfare!"

And since next year's Congress will be missing two of our most dedicated peace leaders, Dennis Kucinich and Lynn Woolsey, we need Norman Solomon elected to stand up for us, no matter where we live.

We know Norman. We've worked with him against illegal wars for 4 decades now. And we can state for a fact that there is no pro-peace candidate running for an open seat in Congress this year who is more deserving of the votes, the donations, or the volunteer help of anti-war activists all across the country.

And now is the time--mail-in voting is starting in California, and primary day is in less than a month. Norman has a great volunteer base, and has raised half-a-million dollars--but two of his opponents have raised even more. Norman does not accept corporate donations, so he needs our help to win.

If you want to donate to Norman Solomon for Congress, click here.
Thank him for his lifetime of standing up against illegal, immoral wars.

If you want to volunteer to make phone calls for Norman's campaign, email Mike Fox.
Thank him for fighting for the Constitution, and against a militarized America.

And if you know someone who lives along the Left Coast, anywhere in northern California along the Pacific Ocean, from the Golden Gate Bridge up to the Oregon border, please remind them to vote for Norman on Tuesday, June 5th.

Norman Solomon has spent his life opposing wars and standing up for peace. He's earned our support. The question for the peace movement is--will we come through for him?

For Peace,

Noam Chomsky
Tim Carpenter
Phyllis Bennis
Phil Donahue
Medea Benjamin
David Swanson
Sarah Anderson
Howie Klein
Mimi Kennedy
Bob Fertik

Andrea Miller
Leslie Cagan
Bill Fletcher, Jr.
Jodie Evans
Sam Husseini
Danny Goldberg
Michael Eisenscher
David Segal
Karen Dolan

Daniel Ellsberg
Thom Hartmann
Tom Morello
Carolyn Eisenberg

Gael Murphy, Beth Schulman

Mike Ferner, Marcos Rubinstein

Kevin Alexander Gray, Jeff Cohen

Steve Cobble






 * * * 
Dear friends,

Over the past year, patients, workers and community members connected to LAC+USC Medical Center (County "General" Hospital) have been coming together around the health care crisis we face daily as we try to get and give care in LA's public clinics and hospitals. (

Please join us -- County+Community Health Empowerment (C+CHE) -- for our first COMMUNITY FORUM on public clinics and hospitals in LA:

What:  A Community Forum featuring a presentation and Q&A with Dr. Mitchell Katz (Director of the ALL of the LA County publicly run clinics & hospitals – which also coordinate with many of the community clinics)

It’s the first chance for patients, community, & front line workers  to share our vision & give constructive critical feedback directly to the top person in charge.

Why   We believe having the ability to receive care for our health and the health of our brothers, sisters, grandparents, etc. no matter what our circumstances is the ethical, moral & humane position.

In order to work towards healthcare as a human right we need to protect, strengthen and improve public clinics and hospitals in LA so they are there to care for all the people left out of health care reform AND to be a model for a future system where health and health care is a right, not a privilege.

When:  Saturday, May 19th, 3-5pm

Where: 505 E 3rd Street, Little Tokyo, 90013 (@ Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple)

Spanish-language interpretation & childcare provided.  The space is wheelchair accessible.

Please contact us at or 213-417-8848 for more information.

Background Information:

People without access to private health insurance are forced to seek care at public clinics and hospitals that:

- are under-resourced, understaffed and overcrowded
- have some staff who are disrespectful and "look down" on patients
- offer almost no integrative or alternative treatments (support groups, acupuncture, herbal medicine, etc.)

Why should I care about what happens to public clinics & hospitals, if I have private health insurance? 

What happens with public clinics and hospitals affects all of us, even those of us who have the privilege of private health insurance. For example, if you lose your job-based health insurance, your only option may be the public health care system.   If you're in a serious accident, you will likely be brought to a publicly-run trauma center.  People who use public clinics & hospitals are our family, friends and neighbors.  

The bottom line is, none of us are safe relying on a private, profit-driven system for our health care.  

Isn't Health Care Reform supposed to help? 
It will help some people, perhaps, but only for a while.  It keeps profit-making corporations (health insurance companies) in control: it forces them to ‘let you buy insurance’ but it doesn’t stop them from denying care; it doesn’t make them open clinics in your neighborhood; it doesn’t stop them from raising their rates. And there is nothing that stops Congress or the Supreme Court from taking Health Care Reform away in a few years (or sooner).

There are serious problems with public clinics and hospitals that need to be fixed - but we know that the profit-driven, private health care industry is NOT the answer.  We need strong, well-resourced public clinics and hospitals that are accountable to the communities they serve. 

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