Have a Heart

I read in the San Francisco Chronicle today the Trump Administration plans to allow medical staff in the nation to deny treatment to lesbians, gays, bisexual or transgender patients because of religious or moral beliefs held by the health care workers; thus allowing doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, emergency medical technicians, even receptionists to deny care. I thought of my late wonderful lesbian cousin, Denise, who lived in a rural county whose only hospital was religious based, and I wonder if they would have helped her with her ovarian cancer. So, I turned immediately to Stevie Wonder vinyl and his 1976 “Songs in the Key of Life,” put on side one, cut one and listened to:

“Good morn or evening fiends

Here’s your friendly announcer

I have serious news to pass on to every-body

Could mean the world’s disaster

Could change your joy laughter to tears and pain

It’s that

Love’s in need of love today

Don’t delay

Send yours in right away

Hate’s goin’ round

Breaking many hearts

Stop it please

Before it’s gone too far.”

That’s only the first few bars in this remarkable song and album. One wonders how cruel Trump and his staff are willing to go—my bad, we’ve already seen that in their taking babies from refugee parents while sending the parents back to Central America and keeping their children here in cages.

Robert D. Bock

San Rafael

It’s a travesty not to sympathize, but empathize with the plight of the many homeless Bay Area residents who have no choice but to live on the streets. I became unhoused in late 2012 following a seizure and subsequent brain injury from a defective airbag. I was working at a popular paint chain as a delivery driver and understandably could no longer perform my duties with epilepsy. I still work, although I’ve been waiting on a class action lawsuit after my rejection by disability, but these things take lots of time. It’s mortifying that I often must be reduced to the status of a filthy beggar if I want things like toothpaste or co-pays for my medication. But if I may cut this violin solo short, the purpose of this letter is to let everyone know that there are few more difficult ways to live, as should be exemplified by this anecdote:

Having left my backpack, sleeping bag and coat behind a building with little traffic on Sundays, I found my things had been moved, but nothing was missing. A gentleman from inside the building emerged from the front, and I told him I was sorry to leave my items there, but I was having a lot of pain in my back and knees, so it’s difficult to carry all my belongings with me all the time. He said he did not want to just “throw away” these items, as the police had recommended, figuring (correctly) that the owner would come back to reclaim them soon.

To those concerned citizens reading, please treat law enforcement with respect and consideration. It’s your only realistic option, and to those who regard police with nothing but contempt, stop. They are necessary to maintain some semblance of law and order. If you are a member or supporter of law enforcement, try to have a heart.

Tony Good

San Rafael

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