09/14/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Healing America (and What One Man Is Doing)

In this new wave of uninformed mass hysteria that conservative forces are whipping up, American citizens are again being led down a twisted garden path. And this time it's about an issue that every single American should support -- the reform of the health care system. I look across the ocean to my homeland and I think the same thing that a lot of my countrymen do when they see their fellow Americans going against their own best interests again: What is wrong with you people? How can you be led around by the ring of maliciously contrived lies that's in your nose? How can you not feel your masters' ultimate lack of respect for you? How can you not see the truth?

What's going on in the United States of America culturally to create this masochistic society? It's like a national pact of murder-suicide.

My husband, James Morgan, opened an email from an acquaintance in which he and other recipients were treated to some abominable YouTube video about Obama. Jim knew the video was damning since some of the general remarks on the missive were labeling our president a traitor, so he didn't watch it. He doesn't waste time with trash, but sent it on to me, so I could see the kind of garbage that was being passed around by someone we both know. I deleted it immediately before reading all the egregious comments. I try to put myself on a positive plane, and there's no room for manipulative poison.

Somehow it's not getting through to these rabid anti-health-care reform people that those they're ultimately helping is the deep pocket of corporate America, ie. Big Money. The absence of real health-care reform will not help even one patient. Again, it's anti-them.

Yesterday, I was followed on twitter by someone whose page of tweets looked iffy, and I clicked on the website link. What I found was someone taking the mantle of a Christian Conservative, but if she/he were truly a Christian, the blog wouldn't be entertaining the notion of whether Barack Obama was The (Biblical) Beast. The answer, by the way, was that he could be.

It's not in Republican or conservative best interest for our country to heal and fully move into the 21st Century, which is the direction that Obama is leading us. The whole world is responding positively to Obama's leadership in repairing the enormous damage left by the Bushies. But there are some who think we're decades too late in trying to fix this particularly enormous health-care system problem. A British citizen responded on LinkedIn to a photo-toon series I do called Obamarifix, and basically wrote that reforming our broken health care system was a lost cause.


What happens is going to be up to each one of us. We will have to work our support of the change we know how desperately is needed. We must hold up a light to the lies being told by such figures as She-Whose-Name-I-Will-Not-Mention (S.P.). Check out this piece from the New York Times: False 'Death Panel' Rumor Has Some Familiar Roots.

In another arena of our national recovery, a man I've come to know a bit is a blues musician named Delmark Goldfarb from Portland, Oregon. Mr. Goldfarb, who describes himself as an old-school Pete Seeger-meets-Saul Alinsky with a dollop of Tom Waits, left on a tour on August 5 and, along the way, he's producing a concert titled "Balance the Bucks" on the fly. "Balance the Bucks" is a rally against greed.

Mr. Goldfarb's point:

There's a lot of rage and feelings of frustration out there and it's not being plugged into old-school "togetherness." Our money is being taken away from us. We are not going to hear about it through commercial media, and by the time it's common knowledge, it will be too late....My background uniquely qualifies me to present the most anti-monied event in the most pro-monied town. I applied for the permit in my own name. There are no sponsors or corporate involvement. No signage. No advertising. Just people doing what they can. And that's what I've been hearing from other patriots. Get involved and do what you can.

The free concert will be presented at the Sylvan Amphitheater (adjacent to the Washington Monument) on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. at 2 pm Sunday, September 6. The "sing-out" will feature artists from across the country and will comprise a line-up of original tunes focusing on issues such as economic justice, redistribution of wealth, salary disparity, bailouts, foreclosures and the general impact of rampant greed.

Mr. Goldfarb: It's a voice-of-the-people presentation--almost like a populist WPA project. I am particularly weary of hearing "where's the rage?" There's lots of rage. I'm going to set up a stage and a microphone to it....This entire project is really one of Portableness.

It's not Mr. Goldfarb's first foray into putting music where a need is. He started the music fest/food benefit fundraiser called "Waterfront Blues Festival" in Portand, which is now in its 23rd year.

Mr. Schwartz's tune "Portable Man" was also included on the homeless-themed "Give Us Your Poor" compilation from Appleseed (with Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen and Pete Seeger and others).

Both "Portable Man" and "Shoot The Angels Down" are among Neil Young's "Living With War" website of contemporary protest songs.

Mr. Goldfarb hopes to "try to punch a hole in the cloud of money influence which soothes and smothers the Capitol." This is a point you might think the anti-health care reform might understand about the issue they're working to derail.

For further details and/or updates regarding the concert, contact Delmark Goldfarb at

Balance the Bucks Concert
Sylvan Amphitheater by Washington Monument
Sunday, September 6th
2:00 P.M.

Beth Arnold lives and writes in Paris. To see more of her work, go to