Tag Archives: children

Do All Lives Matter? Really?

10 Aug

This is something that I wrote a little over a year ago as the political frenzy here in the USA was just beginning to heat up. Now that it’s on full boil I thought that I’d post it again. We have a lot of good things going for us here in the USA and we have a lot of problems too. But what is it that matters the most to Americans? Is it our fellow country-men’s lives, fortunes or sacred honor?

I saw a post on Facebook recently espousing this thought:

“We must put an end to economic freeloading…There must be no place for parasites who draw their sustenance from society without giving anything in return.”

We have over 50 million people in this country who live below the poverty line. And it’s a pretty low line…certainly not one that we or anyone else that I know would want to live under for one day… let alone a year or two or a lifetime. And of all the industrialized countries in the world we, the United States, the richest, mightiest, most boastful country in the world… is last in helping its poor people.

Wow! We’re last in the first world at charity…and as far as I can tell it makes most Americans sick…and not because we’re last but because we can’t get any lower… without leaving the first world and joining the second and third world countries in order to do it that is. Most folks and certainly all Republicans, would like to cut programs for the poor (like food stamps, rent assistance, healthcare and welfare) all together and completely.

After all there is no place for parasites is there? Unless we count prison, and we are first in prisons and prisoners aren’t we? Huzzah! At least we are proud to be number one in some category among the wealthy, advanced nations of the world. But if the poor are parasites and undeserving moochers who draw sustenance from their hosts while offering nothing in return, what are we to do with them? Kill them? Eat them? We already ignore them don’t we? If they aren’t already in prison then they certainly are pretty much invisible. Right?

I mean seriously, do you see a lot of poor folks during your daily routine? You pretty much have to go out of your way or take a wrong turn or exit on the freeway to bump into them don’t you? Or maybe you sometimes see them get shot by scared witless policemen in their efforts to “protect and serve” as you channel surf on your cable TV. So really, what more can we do besides cut those checks?…and I mean cut as in off… not as in… write.

But who are these undeserving poor that beguile and bewilder our great United States of America with their hands out for more and more of our hard earned money every day? Who are these 50 million or so ingrates who can’t stand on their own two feet? These huddled masses who are bankrupting the richest citizens of the richest country in the world? Which, by the way, they aren’t because in case you missed it at the beginning of this blog post, we don’t really give them anything, because we, in all actuality and factuality, already are the STINGIEST, wealthy country in the world!

But I digress…

Because, who are these money grubbers anyway?!

Well… 35% of the 50 million or so poverty stricken Americans are kids! They are all under the age of 18 so how much of a slacker can they all be? Are we going to call 17.5 million children parasites and undeserving moochers for whom there must be no place in our society because they don’t pull their own weight in this world? Yet? They haven’t even graduated high school.

Another 10% of the poorest Americans are elderly. They are all over 65 years of age and can’t work or shouldn’t have to work anymore. How much financial independence and personal accountability do we require from those who may not have had any pensions or 401K plans during their working years or who saw them swallowed up by banks or government cuts or by the financial sector’s mismanagement? Can we give these folks a break and help them out with food stamps, medical and housing assistance or is there simply no room in our society for this particular type of societal parasite? You know…the old and feeble kind.

So that accounts for almost half of all the poor citizens in our country: old folks and children. But did you know that another 31% of the poor in our country are poor because they have mental and/or physical disabilities that prevent them from working or that caused them to lose their jobs in the first place? They might be veterans, paraplegics, developmentally challenged, perhaps those who suffered on the job injuries where no workman’s comp. was in effect or those who were suffering from severe mental incapacitates when their hospitals were closed during the cutbacks of the Reagan years and beyond. Are these citizens to be considered freeloaders also? Lazy work shirkers on the public dole? Irresponsible no-gooders who need to have their food stamp purchases monitored lest they buy an occasional steak or seafood out of season so that we do-gooders can treat ourselves to another tax cut?

A full 76% of those who live below the poverty line here in the United States of America are either children, senior citizens or disabled…that’s 3 out of 4… and what of the other 24%? Mostly they are comprised of mothers: more than likely they are single, divorced or unwed women with children (and a man on the lam from his child support)

And all together they comprise the Approximately 50 million people who can’t make ends meet in this, our Land of Plenty. Sure it’s a big number…but we’re a big country…and a rich country…the richest country! One that can afford to spend 20+% of its budget on blowing the citizens of other countries up and then debate whether or not we should be spending more on such endeavors.

But when it comes to helping our own poorest of citizens, the great majority of whom are either too young, too old, too disabled… or mothers trying to make ends meet…we wag our fingers and say, “We’ve given you enough! What more do you want?”  And yet, We as a nation are last in the world at helping our fellow citizens get back up on their feet now, so really, How much crueler and indifferent can we be?!

Well…The United States also has the highest poverty rate among the major industrialized nations of the world! And Our poverty rate for children is just as bad. So that means that we are first in creating poor people and last in helping them! Do we now need to make sure that we constantly refer to the poor in America as Parasites? Fraudsters? Morally bankrupt? Undeserving? Lazy? Cheats? Thieves?…

Do we really need to add insult to penury?

Because after all. Haven’t we fortunate Americans…God Bless Us…done enough already?

Live Long and Prosper?

10 Nov

http://cdn3.chartsbin.com/chartimages/l_3385_150e6f59e87c3a99d7d1b94a1fb46e7b

Each year the Legatum Institute, a division of a private investment firm, creates The Legatum Prosperity Index, which is an annual ranking of 142 countries, based on a variety of what are seen as human prosperity factors including wealth, economic growth, education, health, personal freedom, personal well-being, and quality of life.

This year Norway tops the list as the most prosperous country in which to live with the United States coming in a distant 11th, which isn’t too bad though when you consider that their are 131 other countries behind us. However, last year we ranked 10th (in 2008 we were 6th) while Norway was still number 1. This year Ireland jumped from 12th place to move ahead of us. Now how did that happen?

Anyway, those countries still ahead of us, in their respective order from number 2 are: Switzerland, Denmark, New Zealand, Sweden, Canada, Australia, Netherlands and Finland. Not bad company but what I find most curious is that if you look at the map above showing the world’s most recent population growth rates you’ll see that these are also the countries that mostly have the lowest growth rates and where their prosperous citizens are giving birth to the fewest children.

And if you’re wondering who’s at the bottom of the prosperity list well, all you have to do is look at the map and see where all of the children are being born and those are the very same places that are among the least happy to live in, including such happy places like Chad, Sudan, Yemen, Syria and most of Africa and the Middle East.

So Why do all of the happy and prosperous countries produce the fewest children while just about all of the sad places are veritable population bombs? Why do people who are poor and living in the worst of conditions want to have children while those humans who are most affluent and able to afford and care for offspring, do not?

In fact affluence is the only form of birth control among humans that actually seems to work long term. And It seems that the more one has, the more likely one is to want to live separated from others and in larger spaces and often with extra homes that they don’t even use. And affluent countries are also the most likely to want to build walls and fences to keep other, less fortunate folks out…and/or deport those who they see as poor baby making squatters who don’t belong to their citizenry and probably never will.

Money and happiness seem to work hand in hand to make people more reclusive and stingy. Which begs the question: Which came first? The children, or the eggs-istentialism? the happiness or the un? Does one just have to look at the map above to see who the future inheritors of the Earth shall be? Was all that hard work just for zero growth… or rather… nothing…so to speak?

Would it be Worth the Life of One Child?

6 Oct

I remember years ago, when I used to be a reporter for a very local newspaper. I was attending a  township council meeting and the council’s discussion was focused around the proposed purchase of a new fire engine for the township’s firehouse. At that time the price for said engine was around 250,000 dollars and one of the councilmen remarked that the purchase of a new fire engine might be too expensive for the township at that time.

That’s when the mayor spoke up and said that if the purchase of a new fire engine saved the life of even one township child then it would be money well spent no matter the cost. After that the proposal passed unanimously, including the eager vote of the one frugal councilman who had brought up the idea of the purchase being too expensive in the first place.

Today I have been reading about the recent tragedy in Oregon involving another horrendous school shooting by a lone gunman and about how local school districts around the country have been partnering with local law enforcement agencies to help prepare schools and school personnel for situations similar to the one that occurred in Oregon and elsewhere around the country.

Some states even now require local law enforcement agencies to stage real time drills in which they mock invade local schools in attempts to prepare teaching staffs and students for the real thing. Many have called the mock raids frightening and hard to determine whether they are drills or the real thing and wonder why they are being staged or conducted at all.

School administrators and law enforcement personnel have answered critics by saying that if it helps to save even one child’s life then no matter how real or frightening they may be, they are indeed well worth it.

And of course almost everyday these days one can see or hear someone in government demanding that Planned Parenthood be de-funded and that perhaps the United States government should even be shut down because if it means saving the life of even one unborn child then it would be well worth the effort and the cost.

So can’t we have some stricter background checks for gun ownership and maybe tougher registration procedures to ensure safer ownership and perhaps even new gun laws that are more in tune with laws that we already have for the safe owning and operating of motor vehicles and for the regulation and use of drugs and narcotics? I mean even if they save the life of even one child wouldn’t it be worth it?

Nope! Definitely not. It wouldn’t be worth the life of any number of children or adults. Even if it didn’t cost anything… and even if everyone still got to keep all the guns they wanted. Now way. No how. Uh-uh…

We Are Family… Just Make Sure you can Take care of your own…

4 Jun

The United States is not alone when it comes to helping to take care of its children and families. Swaziland, Lesotho and Papua New Guinea are the only three countries in the world who help to take care of their country’s families as much as we do. And what is it that we four super powers do to help our children and mothers when they are just starting out on that important path to becoming a family?

Absolutely nothing!

Because we are the only four countries in the world that DO NOT legally require paid maternity benefits for new mothers.

But where the heck is Lesotho? Even this map doesn’t know! But when it comes to helping working mother’s and families make ends meet…That’s the kind of company the United States is in!

Here in the United States we love our Christian values so much that we constantly worry about the lives of fetuses and how we need to protect them from their mothers while they are in the womb. Once they are born however…not so much.

We love the unborn. It’s just kids we can’t stand!

The United States… now proud winners of the family trifecta: 1st in child poverty. 1st in creating poor citizens and 1st to say, “Mom? Put that baby down and get back to work or You’re fired!”

“All for ourselves, and nothing for other people.”

2 Jun

I saw a post on Facebook recently espousing this thought:

“We must put an end to economic freeloading…There must be no place for parasites who draw their sustenance from society without giving anything in return.”

We have over 50 million people in this country who live below the poverty line. And it’s a pretty low line…certainly not one that we or anyone else that I know would want to live under for one day… let alone a year or two or a lifetime. And of all the industrialized countries in the world we, the United States, the richest, mightiest, most boastful country in the world… is last in helping its poor people.

Wow! We’re last in the first world at charity…and as far as I can tell it makes most Americans sick…and not because we’re last but because we can’t get any lower… without leaving the first world and joining the second and third world countries in order to do it that is. Most folks and certainly all Republicans, would like to cut programs for the poor (like food stamps, rent assistance, healthcare and welfare) all together and completely.

After all there is no place for parasites is there? Unless we count prison, and we are first in prisons and prisoners aren’t we? Huzzah! At least we are proud to be number one in some category among the wealthy, advanced nations of the world. But if the poor are parasites and undeserving moochers who draw sustenance from their hosts while offering nothing in return, what are we to do with them? Kill them? Eat them? We already ignore them don’t we? If they aren’t already in prison then they certainly are pretty much invisible. Right?

I mean seriously, do you see a lot of poor folks during your daily routine? You pretty much have to go out of your way or take a wrong turn or exit on the freeway to bump into them don’t you? Or maybe you sometimes see them get shot by scared witless policemen in their efforts to “protect and serve” as you channel surf on your cable TV. So really, what more can we do besides cut those checks?…and I mean cut as in off… not as in… write.

But who are these undeserving poor that beguile and bewilder our great United States of America with their hands out for more and more of our hard earned money every day? Who are these 50 million or so ingrates who can’t stand on their own two feet? These huddled masses who are bankrupting the richest citizens of the richest country in the world? Which, by the way, they aren’t because in case you missed it at the beginning of this blog post, we don’t really give them anything, because we, in all actuality and factuality, already are the STINGIEST, wealthy country in the world!

But I digress…

Because, who are these money grubbers anyway?!

Well… 35% of the 50 million or so poverty stricken Americans are kids! They are all under the age of 18 so how much of a slacker can they all be? Are we going to call 17.5 million children parasites and undeserving moochers for whom there must be no place in our society because they don’t pull their own weight in this world? Yet? They haven’t even graduated high school.

Another 10% of the poorest Americans are elderly. They are all over 65 years of age and can’t work or shouldn’t have to work anymore. How much financial independence and personal accountability do we require from those who may not have had any pensions or 401K plans during their working years or who saw them swallowed up by banks or government cuts or by the financial sector’s mismanagement? Can we give these folks a break and help them out with food stamps, medical and housing assistance or is there simply no room in our society for this particular type of societal parasite? You know…the old and feeble kind.

So that accounts for almost half of all the poor citizens in our country: old folks and children. But did you know that another 31% of the poor in our country are poor because they have mental and/or physical disabilities that prevent them from working or that caused them to lose their jobs in the first place? They might be veterans, paraplegics, developmentally challenged, perhaps those who suffered on the job injuries where no workman’s comp. was in effect or those who were suffering from severe mental incapacitates when their hospitals were closed during the cutbacks of the Reagan years and beyond. Are these citizens to be considered freeloaders also? Lazy work shirkers on the public dole? Irresponsible no-gooders who need to have their food stamp purchases monitored lest they buy an occasional steak or seafood out of season so that we do-gooders can treat ourselves to another tax cut?

A full 76% of those who live below the poverty line here in the United States of America are either children, senior citizens or disabled…that’s 3 out of 4… and what of the other 24%? Mostly they are comprised of mothers: more than likely they are single, divorced or unwed women with children (and a man on the lam from his child support)

And all together they comprise the Approximately 50 million people who can’t make ends meet in this, our Land of Plenty. Sure it’s a big number…but we’re a big country…and a rich country…the richest country! One that can afford to spend 20+% of its budget on blowing the citizens of other countries up and then debate whether or not we should be spending more on such endeavors.

But when it comes to helping our own poorest of citizens, the great majority of whom are either too young, too old, too disabled… or mothers trying to make ends meet…we wag our fingers and say, “We’ve given you enough! What more do you want?”  And yet, We as a nation are last in the world at helping our fellow citizens get back up on their feet now, so really, How much crueler and indifferent can we be?!

Well…The United States also has the highest poverty rate among the major industrialized nations of the world! And Our poverty rate for children is just as bad. So that means that we are first in creating poor people and last in helping them! Do we now need to make sure that we constantly refer to the poor in America as Parasites? Fraudsters? Morally bankrupt? Undeserving? Lazy? Cheats? Thieves?…

Do we really need to add insult to penury?

Because after all. Haven’t we fortunate Americans…God Bless Us…done enough already?

L…Is Still for Mom

11 May

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone. If you aren’t a mother than you most assuredly have one, so it is a day that we can and should all celebrate. I posted this 2 years ago and as I read it over, I see that most if not all of what I had said then is still true today…so here it is… once again…

It has always struck me as odd, that most westerners of the modern age worship a god who is male when it is the female who gives life and who is most likely to care for and nurture the child…of course I suppose that this same fact could also support our belief in a male deity because we can always say…”where did he go? And why did he leave us alone like this?” too.

Sadly however, in our day and age, the single most important indicator in determining a woman’s likelihood to live out her days in poverty is…childbirth. If a woman in this world can call herself a mother, she is more likely than not… to be poor. That in my opinion is the saddest testament to the failures of the human race that I could ever imagine…And the saddest testament to the failures of men because we are supposed to be partners with women aren’t we? So how come so many women have to go it alone, whether they choose to or not.

The abject cruelty and disdain with how many men treat women, has always been puzzling to me because all men have mothers and most men have wives and many men have sisters and daughters too…and it is not uncommon for almost all men to become angry and outraged should anyone say anything bad about their mothers, daughters sisters or wives.

Yet many if not most of these same men never seem to equate other women as being someone elses mother, daughter, sister or wife thereby causing them to treat those women with the same thoughtfulness, kndness, love and respect that all women, not just “theirs”, deserve.

Instead so many men behave so violently towards women that it is enough to boggle any god’s (male or female) mind. But that is the tragic flaw of men is it not? We see violence as a real solution to problems…and we really believe that it is…really.

And so we keep putting each other in charge and we keep coming up with the same solution…to everything…even when we are fathers we still think that it is a good idea to send our sons…or other people’s sons off to war.

I know that women send there sons to war too, but I think only because men make them. I do believe that If moms were in charge wars and violence would be harder to come by…maybe…but I only say maybe because men would still be around to point out, and insist upon,  how we need to resort to violence to get the job done.

So here’s to moms everywhere. I wish you peace and happiness and the love and respect of grateful children everywhere. And I hope you someday get the chance to  take control of the planet and have the opportunity to show us if indeed, love is the answer…to war, hunger, poverty, religion and greed…because we men still have no freakin’ ideas.

Home On the Range

6 Mar

danielle meitiv

Have you heard of Free Range parenting? And I’m talking about human parents, not chicken parents. Apparently everything old is new again because as I read this story I couldn’t help but thinking that this was a story about parenting in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s…you know, before the whirlybirds landed and took our old parents away and replaced them with the newer helicopter variety.

Anyway, In Maryland a couple who allowed their children to walk around their neighborhood unsupervised are now facing a child neglect ruling in their home county. Following a two-month investigation, Montgomery County Child Protective services found Danielle and Alexander Meitiv responsible for “unsubstantiated” child neglect… which means that their case will remain on file with the state for the next five years.

Authorities launched the investigation, after two police officers spotted the Meitiv children, a 10-year-old boy and his and 6-year-old sister, walking home from a park about a mile from where they live. The officers brought the children back to their house, where they confronted their father who was shocked to see his children being escorted home by 3 police officers…but he shouldn’t have been because this was his children’s second offense! A few months before, someone had phoned in an anonymous tip to Child Protective Services when they had observed the two youngsters playing alone at a different park a few blocks from their home.

This is why the Meitivs are known as “free range” parents (couldn’t we think of another name…please?) because they allow their children to “run off and play” as opposed to the so-called “helicopter parents,” who are known for hovering over every aspect of their child’s life (including play) in an effort to keep them safe.

Now in case you are wondering, an unsubstantiated neglect ruling typically comes when Child Protective Services gathers some evidence that suggests child neglect, but not enough information to support a more concrete conclusion. The Meitivs said they wouldn’t let their children walk around the neighborhood if they didn’t feel the children were capable of handling the responsibility. And they let their children regularly walk home from their bus stop, to the library, and to nearby parks, all of which are less than a mile from their home.

But in all fairness, they’re only the children’s parents…and do we really trust any parents these days…or any adults for that matter? Just a few months ago a 12 year old child was walking around a park in Cleveland, Ohio, pretending to shoot people with a toy gun. Remember that? And when the police found him they didn’t round him up and bring him back to his parents. They shot him! When I was a kid my friends and I would run around our neighborhood with toy guns all of the time, pretending we were our dads during WWII shooting Nazis… And no one went looking for us unless it was night time and we hadn’t returned to base all day. Boy, I guess were we lucky that nobody shot back at us with real guns or captured us and took us back to their leader.

So perhaps, as many of today’s parents might suggest, the Meitivs should consider themselves lucky that their children were returned to them safe and sound… but now what are “free range” parents to do?… on a range that is no longer as free as it once was, back in a day when the deer and the antelope played along with everyone else…and discouraging words or neighbors were seldom heard?

If they don’t comply and keep their children supervised at all times, the Meitiv’s worry that should their children roam free again…and be turned in again… they’ll all, parents and children, be in bigger trouble. Because now, not only is it unsafe for children to go out into the world unsupervised but also for the parents as well! Which I guess, sadly begs the even more important question:

What’s on TV?

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