Hollywood Forever

This is a Flickr set from the Hollywood Forever Cemetery during its Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) event.

Note that a couple of items are videos and auto play when you get to the item, they are on the loud side…


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Senate Passes Historic Health Care Reform Bill, #Eric Smiles

[tweetmeme service=”tinyurl.com” source=”jesseluna”]

The Senate passed the health care reform bill early this morning by a 60-39 vote. The vote, once again drawn on 100% party lines, is certainly the most important health care reform legislation in my lifetime.

The Senate Bill now needs to be reconciled with with the House Bill in conference committees. The final version may not be ready to be placed on President Obama’s desk until the end of January.

Hats off to Senator Reid who was able to help keep the Democratic vote together. Wrangling cats has to be an easier chore than that. This is Senator Reid’s tweet just after the Bill passed.

Senator Reid's tweet after HCR Bill Passes Senate

Senator Reid's tweet after HCR Bill Passes Senate

Eric De La Cruz Smiles Down
It’s befitting that Senator Reid of Nevada, as the Senate Majority Leader, has played such an important role in the Bill’s passage. Nevada is Eric De La Cruz’s home state and where his fight for proper health care began.

Eric De La Cruz was a young man who suffered from a heart condition and was in need of a heart transplant. His sister, Veronica De La Cruz, a former CNN anchor and reporter, helped ignite the fight to save his life using the popular microblogging service Twitter. I write about how I first joined the campaign in an earlier post.

Eric died on the 4th of July, 2009 while waiting for a heart transplant. Since that day, Veronica and all her friends, family, and the “Eric Twitter Army“, or ETA, have been pushing for affordable health care for all. The ETA uses the #ERIC and #ETA hashtags on Twitter.

Today is a big day for us.

Minutes after the Bill passed, Veronica tweeted:

Veronica De La Cruz tweet after Bill passage

Veronica De La Cruz tweet after Bill passage

A few minutes later, Tim Hedrich, a long-time ETA supporter tweeted:

For #ETA & #eric supporters, saw this message pop up inexplicably after Senate #hcr vote. ? http://twitpic.com/uyeko

This is the picture mentioned in the link, Eric is certainly smiling down on us:

Radio message from Eric?

Radio message from Eric?

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Senate Vote Ends Debate on Health Care Bill

Will a new Health Care Reform Bill be Unwrapped on Christmas Eve?

This morning’s 60-40 Senate vote clears a path towards passage of the Senate’s health care reform bill. As expected, the votes were cast 100% down party lines and may now lead to a passage in the Senate on Christmas Eve.

All of this occurred as I was making tamales with my family so I missed the final historic vote. But I had the sense that each delightful fork full of food and the accompanying sigh and smile were for a larger reason.

We haven’t reached the “giant leap” to health care reform yet but we must relish the small steps that will lead us there.

Related Links:
* Senate votes to give green light to health care bill
* How and Why I Got Involved in Health Care Reform


How and Why I Got Involved in Health Care Reform

The #Eric logo (glowing)

So much has happened since the day I first communicated with Veronica De La Cruz. May 13, 2009 seems like yesterday and like a million years ago. As of today, it’s been over five months since Eric De La Cruz died and health care reform legislation is as close as it’s ever been. I thought this would be a good time to tell how I became involved in this amazing campaign of the heart.

I had peripherally seen my Twitter friend @Heykim tweeting about helping someone who needed a heart transplant and also mentioning a sister. I wasn’t sure what the deal was so I moved on to other Twitter items (probably blipping, chatting, tech talk, or retweeting something juicy).

A while later, another Twitter friend, @SashaKane, tweeted that someone needed help with a blog site to support getting a heart transplant for their brother. I wasn’t following Veronica De la Cruz on Twitter and didn’t really know of her from her CNN or TV Guide, but I asked Veronica, “Can I help?”

Minutes later, Veronica and I chatted via IM and she emailed me info about her brother, Eric De La Cruz. Eric was suffering from a severe heart condition and was in desperate need of a heart transplant. Veronica was seeking help to build an information and fundraising blog site and support to get insurance coverage in California for Eric. Time was running out.

One of the pictures she emailed me was of her holding her brother’s hand as children. Veronica mentioned the photo and said that just as she held his hand in the photo, she was not going to let go until she did everything she could do to save his life. That’s when I knew I was going to stick with it and do what I could to help.

In the hours and days that followed, the campaign to save Eric’s life rapidly grew, hundreds of heroes and a few doubters appeared, and the fundraising efforts skyrocketed. I’ll cover my view on those events in upcoming blog posts here. I briefly mention them in an interview with WhatGives at BlogWorld Expo 2009.

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Related Links:

* Eric’s Law
* WeLoveEric.com

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Parked at Hospital Hill watching the rain

Parked at Hospital Hill watching the rain clouds go by.

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Staying Focused on the Final Stretch – Health Care Reform

The road Ahead

We’ve come so far these past few months on the road to health care reform.  We’ve had to cross the ugly racist backroads of a nation, mobs in false masks claiming fascism, Nazis, and Nativism, but meaning “we don’t need an uppity President telling us what to do with OUR country.”

But we didn’t engage.  We stayed focus on the mission, where the clock is ticking on so many lives.

We’ve also traversed fictitious maverick Facebook streams and have done what we can to educate people on the difference between facts and blatant manipulative misinformation.

But there was the mission, and so many lives are on the line.  We stayed the course.

Most recently, we’ve scaled the mountains of DC to get votes out of the House and garner enough votes in the Senate for it to move on with debates.

But even though we can see the prize in our mind and a blur of it up ahead, we must stay focused. There is more work to do and we can’t be distracted by weapons of mass distractions that are sure to lay ahead, like land mines in our path.

We can’t get distracted.  We must call our Senators. We must put forth the truth and separate misinformation.  We must take the energy that goes into disbelief that there is opposition to saving lives and turn that into positive action.

We can do this.


Photo Credit: jasmic

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Serra Cross Park, Ventura, CA

Beautiful views from Serra Cross Park in Ventura, CA. The park is up on a hill and from there you can see several views of Ventura County.

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