Hope first:

I live in a very small town in the Connecticut hills.  Here, we pretty much let each other know about what is going on by sticking a sign in the yard in front of Town Hall.  Among other things–senior citizen meetings and “Meet the Republican Candidates” cookouts–we weekly get the sign for our town’s farmer’s market.  All well and good.  The sign is always the same, a piece of white plastic with a red tractor harvesting a green field and the words:  “Farmer’s Market, Wednesday’s, Hollow Park.”

Every week in the summer months, I cringe when I see this sign, because it has been the same sign since I moved here.  Someone just takes it out every Tuesday night and sticks it back in the ground, only to take it away again on Wednesday night.  Every week the same thing:  that “s”–that damned apostrophe.  When did it get confusing–the difference between making a word plural by adding an “s” and making it possessive when adding an apostrophe BEFORE the “s?”  It is really very, very simple.  The only other time in which we add the apostrophe is when we elide, when we shorten two words into one, such as “he’s,” which stands for “he is.”  There is no real trick to it, and yet, like the inexplicable Tea Party movement, millions of  Americans have become confused once more and now seem to believe that we pluralize a word by adding an apostrophe before the “s.”  (The same millions now seem to think that “me” is the plural of “I,” but that is a topic for another day.)

So, the sign of hope:  as I was walking Django the dog this morning, I walked him, as I almost always do, to the library, so that he can make the automatic door open and then stare inside at all the people–something that never fails to both please and amuse him, especially if he decides to bark as well once the door has opened.  Then we curved along behind the town buildings and walked up in front of town hall.  And there is was, same sign, same tractor.  Except that someone (and God richly bless that mysterious individual) had taken a tiny piece of white tape and carefully covered the offending apostrophe, so that the sign, while the “s’ looked a little removed and wonky, was made grammatically correct at last.

That someone recognized the error and corrected it is a reason to have hope, as far as I am concerned.  As regular readers of psora psora psora know, I consider such things to be miracles.  I find God, not in the turning away of flood waters or alien spacecraft, but in the subtle things, such as the plastic sign with the red tractor on it and the now-correct words:  Farmer’s Market, Wednesdays, Hollow Park.

Signs of Change:

I noted a couple of days ago that we need to keep our eye out for changes that could potentially be coming to our healthcare system, that could potentially–and let me stress that word “potentially” once more before we all get out our tinfoil hats–render illegal all “non-scientific” systems of healthcare like homeopathy and acupuncture and put the fate of vitamins and supplements in the hands of the big pharmaceutical companies.

I mention it again today because it needs repeated mentioning–for once, it is not too late for the citizens of this nation to actually do something before another right is taken away.  The government web site dedicated to giving information on the impact of EO 13544,
which brought the United Nations’ (note correct use of possessive with a plural noun) Codex Alimentarius to our shores tells us that any panel seated to explore the issue of what systems of healthcare are or are not “scientific” will indeed include members from all medical modalities:  allopathic, homeopathic, natural, and “beaten to death and robbed of every nutrient and virtue before consumed.”

It is the task of the population of the free nation to make damned sure that no panels are formed in secrecy (the manner, in fact, in which EO 13544 was signed) and that all points of view are heard.  With so much to (potentially) lose and so much on the line, it is my fervent hope that we will not once more let Sarah Palin and company suck all the air out the room, leaving us just woozy enough to be rendered inert.

Change is coming to our healthcare system, whether we like it or not.  It is now our task to make sure that the change is indeed Change We Can Believe In.

 

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