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A national shame, part 2



Some pertinent thoughts from my man Jeff. He left this comment at the end of my previous post, but I wanted to make sure everyone who watches this blog saw it:

Our politicians seem so remote to the plight of the poor. The current status of feeding the poor before the SNAP cuts had the government $5 billion matched by all of the pantries, soup kitchens, and other food providers to the tune of $5 billion.

With $10 billion in food help, the needs of the poor and the working poor were not even close to being met. The most affected are children (40%) and the elderly (30%). The average allowance for a meal for one person was $1.50. That will be lower now. The average cut per person will be $13; for a family of four, the cut will be $78 per month.

School breakfast and lunch programs are often the only meals students get. Hungry kids do poorly in school—it's a fact. I run an after-school program where I provide a snack. I used to buy chips and cookies when I started; now I buy crackers with cheese or peanut butter so the kids get some protein. I buy yogurt so they get dairy, and I buy fruit and fruit juices. I am lucky; I have a generous funding source. I always take more than I need so seconds can be had. I never come home from a meeting with anything left.

Imagine children with bright futures whose concentration is so distracted because their stomach is empty and education become secondary to basic survival. As a country we send billions in aid overseas, fight other countries' wars, and refuse to care for our own people. I am so tired of hearing conservatives say if you want a job, you can get one. Apparently they ignore the Appalachian-like sprawl that is consuming America as global corporations erode employment opportunities because it is cheaper to send the work to China or Mexico.

Wall Street booms as the middle class and the poor struggle to live. Our politicians, like Nero, fiddle as America burns.The rhetoric they spout does not address solutions—it just heightens the tensions between two ideologies that will never meet if for only one true reason: the inability of the conservative party to accept this president.

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Wish I'd Said It

Nota bene: “Fear has governed my life, if I think about it. ... I always feel like I’m not good enough for some reason. I wish that wasn’t the case, but left to my own devices, that voice starts speaking up.” – Trent Reznor

“I hate to say this, but not many people care what you do. They care about what you do as much as you care about what they do. Think about it. Just exactly that much. You are not the center of the universe.” — Laurie Anderson

"The path's not yours till you've gone it alone a time." – William Carlos Williams

“Filling this empty space constitutes my identity.” – Twyla Tharp

"My definition of peace is having no noise in my head." – Eric Clapton

"The wreckage of the sky serves to confirm us in delicious error." – John Ashbery

"We are all here by the grace of the big bang. We are all literally the stuff of the stars." – Dwight Owsley

"For my part, I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." – Vincent van Gogh

"It is only with the heart that one can see right; what is essential is invisible to the eye." — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"Forget about being a perfectionist, because entropy always wins out in the end." – Darren Kaufman.

"Impermanence. Impermanence. Impermanence." – Garry Shandling

"Fame is a vapor; popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion." – Mark Twain

"There is no realm wherein we have the truth." – Gordon Lish

"Actual life is full of false clues and sign-posts that lead nowhere." – E.M. Forster

“Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe." – Frank Zappa

“I try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip.” – Elmore Leonard

“The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.” – Voltaire

• Journal title and subtitle: Ian Hunter, “Man Overboard”

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