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Joe DeRouen, Author of the Small Things trilogy: 2009-08-16

Friday, August 21, 2009

Simpatico with My Words


(sim-PAH-ti-ko, -PAT-i-)

1. Like-minded; compatible.
2. Congenial; likable.

That's the word of the day. Well, one of several words of the day, actually. I subscribe to at least three different WotD e-mail lists:,, and Visual Thesaurus. I saw "at least three" because I think there are more, but that's all I can find at the moment. Simpaticio, my favorite of the three words for today, is from Wordsmith.

I save these. I have WotD's stored in various e-mail archives, going back to 2001. Why do I save them? I guess I'm convinced that, some day, when I really need the perfect word, I'll be able to search through my e-mail and find it. Hasn't happened yet, but all it would take is just once to make all that archiving worthwhile. Right?

Or maybe I save them just because I love words. Simpatico, oblation, stultify, incongruous, euphoric, luau, azimuth, frangible, foundling, ragamuffin, attendee, tarradiddle and Kafkaesque. That's just a small sampling of the words sitting in my inbox, and reading them now makes me happy. Even if I never actually use them in one of my novels or articles.

It was stultifyingly hot at the luau, thought the ragamuffin, her long pants and thick wool sweater incongruous with the short skirts and loud Hawaiian shirts worn by the other attendees around her.

I guess I'm just feeling simpatico with my words. And now I'm off to search out more WotD lists. Because, you know, three really isn't enough. And who knows? Maybe I'll find inspiration to finally complete that third novel. That would leave me feeling euphoric indeed. And that's no tarradiddle!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Universal Health Care

I really don't get why certain people begrudge health care for others. "Well, sure, I think everyone should be able to go to the doctor... but not if it raises my taxes!" Since when did the American people become so selfish, so single-minded?

My wife and our son and I went to a democratic rally over the weekend, and the number of people outside the gates holding anti-health care signs were amazing. They somehow equate health care reform with Communism, trojan horses (whatever the hell that even means,) and Socialism. Personally, I'm all for Socialism, but what the dems are considering is so far from Socialism it's ridiculous. The idea of universal health care has been watered down to a public option, and now we probably won't even get that.

And speaking of which, I just love the argument that "the USA is bigger than (Canada, the UK, France, Germany, whatever) so we can't afford universal health care." There's a hole in that argument so huge that you could drive a fleet of Haliburton trucks through it. Yes, we ARE bigger - but so is our GNP. We'd have to spend more money to make universal health care happen, but, not so ironically, we also have more money to spend. If the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and France can make universal health care work - and, yes, despite that the Republicans might want you to believe, it DOES indeed work - then why can't we?

At this point, I'm not going to be satisfied with anything less than a public option. I have no clue whether it's going to happen or not, but it needs to happen. It would be the first step toward true universal health care, which should be everyone's ultimate goal.

Except, of course, for the conservatives, who would prefer the massive insurance companies just keep on making money hand over fist and denying sick people and people who can't afford health insurance health care, their supposed Christian values be damned.