Three Legged Stool

3leggedstoolSome would have us all believe we are in a ‘post racial society’, those who say this with a straight face are either delusional or simpletons. Others would have us believe women have achieved equality or something closely resembling it, I say those who say this, ‘you are beyond half bent over and should return to whence you came, 1890 perhaps’. I would like to note, if the person uttering this nonsense are of my gender, they are likely being paid well for the garbage dripping from their lips. What keeps us in line is the distinct and bright line of money, or the lack thereof. Let us call it what it is, poverty; we live in a society where money buys your way through life, if you ain’t got it you ain’t going to get it. Those born with it are working hard to keep it and keep it out of the hands of others.

It is a three-legged stool, an ugly and nasty stool. One we have been sitting on and pondering our navels from for far too long.

One from which we watch and shrug our shoulders as our African-American brothers and sisters die, as they are shot in the streets, as they are beaten in jail cells, as their children die of preventable disease for lack of access to health care. One from which we watch our schools crumble and our children fail even basic educational skills. One from which we watch as women/mothers struggle to make ends meet, while the fathers of their children languish in corporate prisons for the crime of trying to pay the rent. One from which we refuse to acknowledge there is a problem and it is called institutional racism, we are a part of it. We inherited it, we continue it, we benefit from it if we are White.

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One from which we watch and shrug our shoulders as our sisters are raped and beaten, we make excuses for their rapists rather than protect our young women in the military and on college campuses. One from which we watch as women who once had the right to agency to choose to protect their reproductive health through birth control and yes, even the right to choose abortion if necessary no longer have this agency, as men strip them of their adulthood of their rights over their own bodies and push them further back into poverty and dependency. We watch as women are paid less than men in every field of endeavor and our leaders at every level of government refuse to acknowledge the inequity. We watch as women struggle to gain parity and representation without success.

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We watch and shrug, refusing to acknowledge the widening gap between those who have and those who have not. We uphold the wealthy as heroes to be propped up, while we lose more of our own small value in the market. We watch the gap widen every year without demanding changes to the very systems of inequity that created the abyss we are unable to cross, no matter how many jobs we hold or how many hours we work. We watch as our neighbor loses their home, shrug and are grateful it isn’t us that lost our job to outsourcing or the latest free market con. We shrug as our neighbor drives away never drawing the line to it could be us next time given our abysmal lack of compassion last time we voted. We blame everything without ever considering the agenda of the person or group who has put forth the illogical Meme of the week for why we are sinking in to the chaos of poverty, why our neighborhood is losing market value, why the middle-class is shrinking, why we don’t have any damn money.

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We are a nascent society, with the emergence of social media and our use of cell phones and other means of communication there is at least one thing changing and rapidly. Can you guess? We are beginning to talk, we aren’t saying much yet but we are beginning to talk. We are beginning to look at each other and see humanity rather than enemy. We are beginning to see violence against another person, not like us, and challenge the violence rather than challenge those who protest the violence. We are beginning to look across the road and at a burning church and pick up a bucket full of water.

It isn’t all of us, not yet but some of us are beginning to say, ‘no more’. Some of us are beginning to challenge racism, challenge historical structures and challenge symbols with the truth. It isn’t all of us, but it is more of us, more of us are asking the question, “What can I do? How can I help?” It matters, that we ask, that we see and that we are offended and aren’t afraid to offend those who sit and shrug.

It isn’t all of us but some of us are beginning to challenge women’s ‘proper place’ and why we are taking steps backward rather than forward, how we are losing ground. It isn’t all of us, but some of us are asking the questions, stepping forward fearlessly with our stories and demanding to be heard. It isn’t enough of us yet, but some of us are standing up and saying we will be heard, we must

a demonstrator after the Eric Garner Grand Jury announcement Mark Makela/Getty Images

a demonstrator after the Eric Garner Grand Jury announcement
Mark Makela/Getty Images

be heard, we must be represented in State Houses, in Board Rooms, in Congress. Women cannot afford to sit back, to lose the rights our mothers and grandmothers laid down their bodies, their reputations and even their lives to gain for us. Yet, we are bleeding them out again in back alleys; it isn’t all of us but some of us are beginning to stand up and take up the fight for our agency.

We are beginning to recognize we are losing ground, all of us. We are losing our voice, the voice we each have the right to express through our vote. Money has stolen our voice, through a bought and paid for SCOTUS and Congress we have seen our vote being slowly eroded. Through Voter ID Laws, through Super Pacs, through other egregious acts by our acting leadership we have handed over our voice. Now, some of us have recognized how bad it is and we are beginning to fight back.

Poverty comes in many ways, as a nation our worst form of poverty is that of spirit. We have suffered a terrible loss of spirit, of national soul. We have sold ourselves for a dream, to slick talkers with the promise that if we allowed those at the top to lift themselves without limitations or consequence for bad acts, we would somehow be lifted with them. It was a lie, it was always a lie and we were warned but were blinded by the con of free money. Now we are paying for our desire for something for nothing.

I can only say, if you haven’t already WAKE THE FUCK UP!

Out of Dreams Nightmares

OpEdMany things are weighing on my mind, it is nearly impossible to turn on the television, open a newspaper or even look at social media without being bombarded by the most recent human tragedy. The problem I have is the magnitude of those tragedies; our response, as a nation and frankly as human beings saddens me. I am not a Christian, I do though subscribe to some basic tenets of the Christian system, this is my favorite:

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life”.

Matthew 25:31-46 parables of the Sheep and the Goats

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I find myself in a quandary as I consider our current national and international crises and the response of our citizens to them. We are a nation full of individuals who presume to call themselves Christian, who gather together and stand on their Bibles demanding their Rights and Privileges using their Christianity as a justification for what I consider mean, ugly and nasty behavior toward those in need. It seems we are a nation that has forgotten the basics of compassion, empathy and humanity toward our fellow man, while standing on a shaky platform of Christianity.

“The land flourished because it was fed from so many sources–because it was nourished by so many cultures and traditions and peoples.” 

Lyndon B. Johnson

I have been less than impressed by our response to the refugee problem at our borders, make no mistake this is nothing other than a refugee problem. Women and children, in some cases children alone, fleeing violence begging for safe haven, only to be met by screaming xenophobes telling them to turn around, die, starve no matter just go home. We helped create the problems in Central America, our money, our bankers and money laundering and our ‘War on Drugs’, we did this1. This nation helped create the cesspools these children are escaping from, where their lives are in danger, where they live in poverty so terrible none of us could possibly imagine even in our worst nightmare. We did this and some of us have the audacity to stand before buses and on borders, demanding they be turned away. We did this, yet governors of Border States find nothing wrong with patrolling with guns drawn and calling out the National Guard to shoot them as they come toward us, hands out begging for shelter and aid.

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Our President has found himself between a rock and a very hard place. Following a law signed by his predecessor, he is vilified by those who believe he is opening the borders to ‘thugs, criminals and disease ridden children’. With Congress taking Comprehensive Immigration Reform off the table for this year, everyone has something to say, it makes me wonder when some of these cretins will simply fade into the woodwork and shut the hell up. Everyone has an opinion, not a single one of them, from Hannity to West shows a bit of compassion, their snark and ugly shows only a partisan standard line of attack on the President, on those fleeing the violence and poverty we helped to create. Everyone who speaks up, attacking those in need and the President claims Christianity as their Rock, their guiding light yet fails to remember CHARITY, COMPASSION and LOVE for their fellow man as the foundation of that faith.

I have been anything but impressed; truthfully, I have been stunned by the actions of the city of Detroit’s Water Department. The city is in bankruptcy seeking any all means to pull themselves out of dire financial straits. The 04_Womenproblem with this solution is, water is both a fundamental human requirement of life and according to the United Nations a Human Right2, apparently the city manager and the head of the Water Department in Detroit didn’t get that memo. It has been suggested by some, famous and otherwise, those who do not pay their water bills can simply ‘tote’ their water from the lakes and rivers nearby. Others have suggested those private citizens who are not paying their water bills are doing so while they choose to pay other less necessary household expenses, such as cable and medicine. While the city cuts services to thousands of private residences they are remise in cutting services to businesses that owe hundreds of thousands, even the State that at last look owed $5M.3

To my mind, Detroit is a test ground for what the rest of the nation can and will become if we don’t stop this attack on basic human rights and humane treatment of our fellow man, now. This is an attack on at least two levels; one is the basic human level where those who have will continue to have (see Peter Brabeck-Letmathe4 and his assessment of what is a human right about access to water), the other is a continuation on the attack on women in particular. Wonder how this is an attack on women? How will women, in particular, be affected by a crisis of this nature, look at the world and ask yourself this question who will tote that water, who will be left to care for sick children affected by unsanitary conditions? Take women out of the workforce, cripple them economically and shove them backwards educationally, as a nation we are broken, we become the dreamscape of the nutjobs on the Far Right, a land of hopelessness for millions starting with women and extending to everyone else not of their liking.5

drought

For those who think racism and sexism are things of the past, think again. These are simply two stark reminders we are living in a nightmare reality only brought to a screaming head in 2008 by the election of Barack Obama. Every single xenophobic fear was outed when he shot to the office of President seemingly out of nowhere and fulfilled the hopes of those of us who believed he could begin to undo what eight years of the Bush / Cheney nightmare had done to this nation. His election flung wide the closet doors of all those who previously had agreed to keep their bigotry, racism, sexism, homophobia and simple lack of core morality under the covers in favor of social acceptance. Of course, since the days of Ronald Reagan the Right had been working toward this moment, when White Sheets in the form of a well-tailored suit would find acceptance on the national stage and even a man or woman of color would join in the decimation of our nation, our civil rights and our laws.

Congress does nothing day by day but spends our money on conspiracy theories, threats of impeachment and lawsuits against the President; we sit back and shake our heads but do nothing. The Senate shuts down the government, deadlocks over things both vital and trivial; we sit back and do nothing. SCOTUS is bought and paid for, stripping us of our rights one by one; we do nothing but bitch and whine.

How do we change this trajectory of the United States becoming a feudalistic state? We stand up, get up off our apathetic asses and demand change. We engage locally, we stop whining and we start doing something, including Voting. We write letters. We go to City Council meetings. We hook up with local organizations and throw our name out there to volunteer.

Dammit we engage and we VOTE.

I leave you with this, I think it is appropriate for today.

1http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9252490

2http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/human_right_to_water.shtml

3 http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/26/detroit-shuts-off-water-to-residents-but-not-to-businesses-who-owe-millions.html

4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2P7lqDsle4

5 Statistics: http://www.wateraid.org/us/the-water-story/the-crisis/statistics?filterEEF299BDEFB04B4A89206672AC6D5578=92B3B8726E5549ECB87EFAA64D5E5B05#filterContent

5 Sanitation facts: http://www.wateraid.org/us/the-water-story/the-crisis/sanitation

5 Hygiene facts:  http://www.wateraid.org/us/the-water-story/the-crisis/sanitation

5 Water facts: http://www.wateraid.org/us/the-water-story/the-crisis/sanitation

The Commons Revisited

I want to return to one of my favorite political / philosophical places on the map, The Commons. When I first wrote about The Commons, back prior to the second election of our current president it was with some hopefulness ( backstory). Truthfully, most Americans do not refer to the Public Sector, the services and systems provided by government as The Commons. Since January 1981, we have as a nation, been on a mission to destroy The Commons and our memory of how they serve us.

How did we get so damned mean?

Do you ever ask yourself this question when listening to news reports, watching a debate on the floor of Congress or reading the latest memes posted from either side of the ideological debate? I know I do. It seems both sides have sunk to new lows, specializing in simple nastiness and personal attacks rather than solving problems. We cloak it in humor, we laugh at political satire and even excuse those who attack our ideological enemies with terms of gender, race, ethnicity where if these terms were turned on us we would scream bloody murder and demand immediate retribution.

What in the Hell is wrong with us anyway?

As a nation, as a people we cling to our notions and ideologies neither side willing to listen or move from their platforms. The problem is both sides have moved both sides have slid further toward the right, leaving the nation and The Commons in peril of ultimate destruction. We have become a nation of sound bites, ignorance, misinformation and political distractions. We fly willy-nilly off the handle at the slings and arrows thrown by irrelevant talking heads and ignore what is important, critical even to our lives as citizens. We fail as citizens to understand what is important for our future and the future of our nation, focusing instead on immediate gratification as if playing a video game.

The Commons, Safety Nets and the Fall of a Nation

Do you wonder what is the Commons? Many do, they haven’t really heard of The Commons, truthfully many think all the services they receive are simply there, free of charge and might be better if they weren’t, free that is. With this in the back of our mind, let’s consider what are commonly thought of as The Commons:

  • Public Safety – Police, Fire and Rescue
  • Public Transportation – Roads, including local, state and interstate and lest we forget bridges, of which many are considered close to failure.[i]  We also shouldn’t forget in here, the ports, river ways, airways, the list truly does go on.
  • Public Health-  including Free Clinics, Hospitals, Research, the FDA and the EPA to name just a few of the services we receive in the name of our health and well-being.
  • Public Parks – preservation of our wild areas
  • Public Education – from pre-school all the way through university in some states.
  • National Security – Military and that great huge spy apparatus we have and all too often decry.

These are just a few, the list could continue, for pages and pages if truth were to be told.

Then there are the safety nets, no I am not talking about those nets we pay for throughout our working lives but instead the ones we have in place for the weakest of our society:

  • Medicaid (Healthcare, but only one part of the whole)
  • Aid for Women, Infants and dependent children (WIC)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP (aka: Food Stamps)
  • Housing Assistance to families
  • Temporary Assistance to Families in Need, TANF (aka: Welfare)
  • Pell Grants
  • Child Nutrition or School Lunches
  • Head Start and Child Care
  • Job Training
  • Unemployment supplements
  • Energy Assistance (LIHeap)
  • Lifeline (aka: Obama Phone), funny about this one, it was actually started in 1997 but somehow has been attached to our current POTUS.

In their entirety, these programs make up less than fifty percent (50%) of the entire budget, think about that for a moment, ponder it. All the supports, both Common Good and Safety Nets excepting National Defense, make up less than half the expenditure of the federal government. One must ask where does the rest of our money go, why don’t we have a more stable economy and better infrastructure. What are all these fiscally responsible, conservative members of our federal government doing with the trillions of dollars they collect from us and borrow from others? It is a good question, worth asking, isn’t it?

2014 Federal spending chart

Damned Mean and Getting Meaner by the Day

Is it indifference or cynicism that has taken us down this road, allowing us to not see the suffering before us, to not care when a child is hungry or an entire neighborhood falls victim to blight. How do we turn a blind eye as our schools, once the pride of our neighborhoods fall into disrepair, our children once the ‘best and brightest’ are no longer able to read, write or do simple math upon graduation from High School? Why do we find it better to make excuses as our nation drops in every category measuring national success and citizen happiness?

We beat our chests as if illiteracy makes us superior and ignorance of simple science will advance us as a nation. Our failure to advance within the global economy isn’t accidental; we are the only nation with a classification of ‘working poor’, we seem to be damned proud of having added designation, while ripping all security from tenuous hold on hearth and home. A once proud middle class, slips further adrift, families shuffled into parking garages, tent cities and shelters; no longer too proud to beg.

So long as we can point and say, ‘not like us’, we happily run to the polls and pull that lever for the guy who looks most like ‘us’ then wonder why we are losing our jobs, our homes, our cars, our access to healthcare. When we do and there is nothing there to help us when we fall, we still look to the other guy, the inner city guy, the immigrant, the fatherless child, the unmarried mother; we blame them for our fate and cry foul. We look to the guy we elected, we beg and plead and remind them of their promise to, ‘stop those lazy folks sucking on the public tit, not like us hard working folks just like them’. It is only then we might realize we aren’t any different; we also need help but do we get mad at those ‘just like us’ folks we elected who have screwed us into the dirt of our rented land? Hell no, we get madder still at the ‘not like us’ folks suffering right beside us they’re still ‘not like us’ and we are still going to find a way to make them worse off and we are still going to find a way to elect those that are ‘just like us’.

Do we learn though, do we find common ground? No instead, we continue to put the charlatans with their hands out taking money and spinning the wheel to find the next target to focus our ire upon. We would rather put money into the greedy, grasping hands of those who could feed, educate and rebuild this nation with nothing more than the interest paid on the welfare checks they receive from our tax dollars. But we are mean, so long as we have a target we are happy to remain mean, happy to point to the other guy, the guy that isn’t us, that looks different from us and blame them for our misfortune, for our failure to thrive for the failure of The Commons to lift us up from our misfortune.

 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. Matthew 25:45

[i] http://www.asce.org/failuretoact/

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/03/10-poverty-myths-busted

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/year_spending_2014USbf_15bs2n_000201101220#usgs302

 

Remembering Chris Keith, aka “The Adventures of a Thrifty Mama”

Another woman, a mother and her son touched by violence who ultimately lost their lives, leaving three other children behind. This is the face of domestic abuse. Please read and if you can help, please do so.

Poor as Folk

I “met” Chris through my Facebook page for my personal blog crazy dumbsaint of the mind and I in turn become a fan of her blog Adventures of a Thrifty Mama in the City ‘Stead, and then later we got to know each other outside of blogging. For those  who don’t know how online friendships work, they might be confused when I call Chris my friend. Online friendships are funny things and sometimes it happens that the people you trust online with your experiences  and thoughts are these people you’ve never even had so much as a cup of coffee with.

Chris & I had a lot in common. We were both struggling to feed our families real food on a food stamp budget and defied being stereotyped as “welfare mom living off the system”. We both were striving  to create a sustainable  and secure food sovereignty for ourselves…

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Welcome to the Revolution

“For Negroes are not the only victims. How many white children have gone uneducated, how many white families have lived in stark poverty, how many white lives have been scarred by fear, because we have wasted our energy and our substance to maintain the barriers of hatred and terror?

So I say to all of you here, and to all in the Nation tonight, that those who appeal to you to hold on to the past do so at the cost of denying you your future.

This great, rich, restless country can offer opportunity and education and hope to all: black and white, North and South, sharecropper and city dweller. These are the enemies: poverty, ignorance, disease. They are the enemies and not our fellow man, not our neighbor. And these enemies too, poverty, disease and ignorance, we shall overcome.”

Where did we go wrong? I am inclined to believe complacency plays a large role but more than this is the determined actions of those shadow and moneyed figures who have for nearly 60 years worked aggressively to turn back the hands of time.

Some believe this is a dial back to the 1950’s; a time when the little woman met hubby at the door with a Martini and dinner was on the table at exactly six pm. Dysfunction hidden behind a wall of smiles and silence, everyone in agreement to speak softly and pass the mashed potatoes. Children, bright and shiny faces smile up at their teachers and learn by rote their ‘A,B,C’ and who the enemy is, the big bad Communist behind the brick and razor wire www.sitcomonline.comwall.

It is the world of Beaver and Wally Cleaver.

The fifties were a time many look back on with great affection, considering this the idyllic time in our nation’s history, but was it? What is it about the era that is so attractive to so many; shall we explore the difference sixty year’s makes in the history of a nation and our memories.

  • Taxes – could it be we had a lower marginal tax rate during the idyllic 1950’s? Is this what the attraction is? No, this isn’t it, the average top marginal tax for those wonderful ‘job creators’ during this time was 85%, that’s right one of the highest rates in our history; of course back then we didn’t call them job creators, we called them wealthy and expected them to contribute to the health of our national coffers for the good of the nation.
  • Jobs – we had them back then, at least some of us did. Minorities weren’t in the workforce in any meaningful way, certainly not as a threat to the “American” way of life! Women? Well we have put awww.squiddo.com real dent in things! Our numbers have grown since the 50’s by 394%. We have girded our dainty loins for battle and skipped blithely into every single arena of high crimes, chicanery and flimflam and demanded our seat at the table! I suppose this does cause angst, the competition likely makes many uncomfortable.
  • While we are talking about jobs – we should look at the other reason we had jobs, fair trade policy and practices! That is right, since the 1950’s our borders for trade have sprung wide open. While this prying loose of trade polices began after WWII, the grease was applied by the Lord of Free Trade, President Ronald Reagan with GATT and applied even more liberally by his predecessors in trickery, right up through present day WTO trade agreements. These agreements keep import Tariffs at all-time lows while doing nothing to address trade imbalance with those nefarious ‘Favored Nations’ and slips through the cracks the idea that Americans are ill prepared, to stupid even to fill the jobs available in the market those requiring on-going infusions in the tens of thousands from other, smarter temporary forces of resources who will work for half as much while Americans languish.
  • Civil Rights – perhaps the most reprehensible problems of the time machine bunch. Why you ask? What we are seeing today is a return to the policies and programs of that time, a return to a time of Jim Crow and Plessy v. Ferguson; a time when it was legal to separate, abuse even kill a man or woman based solely on the color of their skin. Segregation, voter suppression and separate but equal were all at play and fully supported by the courts and those elected to offices both high and low.
  • Now we have the issue of SEX, that’s right SEX. Blue laws throughout the land controlled who had it and with whom it was legal to have it with, even in some cases in what position it was legal to have it in and on what does of the week. But it wasn’t just sex it was the purpose of sex and women were the receptacles, the bearers of children! Both contraception and abortion were illegal in all cases. In most states so was pre-marital sex but only women were ever prosecuted as lewd women. Men? Well they were just being men.

“ I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Recognize the above? No? It is the original Pledge of Allegiance written by Francis Bellamy (1855-1931), a Christian Socialist who frankly would be rolling in his grave were he to know that his simply pledge of commitment to the Flag and Country has become such a historical point of contention. The Pledge of Allegiance was said in schoolrooms throughout the nation daily by schoolchildren from Kindergarten Wikipediathrough High School, with exactly the words above.  It was not until June 14, 1954 by Joint Resolution of Congress after being introduced by President Eisenhower the words ‘One Nation Under God’ were added to the Pledge, hardly historical and certainly not the intent of our Founding Fathers.

So let’s do a quick synopsis, shall we? What do these historians want to return to?

  1. Higher taxes
  2. Jim Crow
  3. Voter Suppression
  4. Segregation / Separate but Equal
  5. Protectionism, return of tariffs
  6. Blue Laws, criminalization of Abortion and contraception
  7. Removal of God from Public sector including money and Pledge of Allegiance

No, I don’t think they want the list above. They want a selected set of the list above. Clearly, we are moving on a fast track toward achieving some of these. I think President Johnson had it dead to rights in his Civil Rights speech of 1965; the enemy is poverty, ignorance and disease. It is truly unfortunate today we have all these running rampant and even being promoted.

What think you?

Generations Lost

Children Lost

Another generation, not ours, not even our children’s but a next generation of children. Children lost to poverty, poor health, illiteracy, ignorance, hate and yes, even hopelessness and violence. You might be shaking your head as you read these words, saying not in my backyard, not my grandchild or not any child I know. I can only ask you to think, to consider are your assumptions really true? If this is you, wake up! You are either living in a very rarified position, away from the rest of us, or you are blind too what is truly happening in what was once possibly the greatest country in the World.

1 in 45 children are homeless today, living either on the street or in homeless shelters.

1 in 5 children will go to bed hungry tonight, during the summer months this is even more devastating as there will be no school lunch program so they may remain hungry through the day. Of course, many states have already cut the school lunch program from their budget so they will already be use to the daily hunger especially at this time of the month when food stamps have stretched as far as they will go. We can dress this up all we like (Food Insecure = HUNGRY) but the simple fact is, they are without food.

50,000 children sleep on the street in this country at any given time. These are the runaways, the at risk children.

250,000 families with children are in shelters at any time. This number doesn’t account for families living on the street or in their cars, families squatting in empty buildings or on park benches.

National Alliance to End Homelessness

To make it more real, perhaps easier to see the numbers:

National Alliance to End Homelessness

Youth violence, a nice way to say our young are killing each other without remorse; their weapons include their fists, guns and even words. Bullying is on the rise along with suicide. Our Juvenile Justice system overflows with the spillover to the adult prisons; the coffers of the for profit prison system in nearly every state of the union overflowing. Youthful offenders, boys and girls as young as twelve remanded as adults for crimes even a decade ago they couldn’t have imagined and now they commit without understanding the consequence, they will have a lifetime to consider though as they sit in cells and on yards never intended for them. Wasted lives, wasted futures, wasted potential and all our futures are at risk, as an entire generation turned more antisocial, even sociopathic.

What were we thinking in our Greed and Self-Absorption, what did we think when we failed so miserably to provide communities and schools for all the children of this nation and not just our own. Did we really believe we could draw invisible lines, build invisible walls high enough and escape with our ‘White Flight’ and the wretchedness and purity of our selfishness wouldn’t follow us, is that what we believed? Those birds have come home to roost, each generation becoming more entitled than the last; each generation in this millennium more inclined to demand their place at the table while contributing nothing. It is our fault for training them and providing nothing but our own sense of entitlement, our own self-absorption and lack of compassion, along the way. What will we do now?

Generations Lost used the following sources and my own broken heart:

http://www.familyhomelessness.org/LookingIntoLight/

http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/press/press_releases_media_advisories/2011/HUDNo.11-121

http://www.childrensdefense.org/child-research-data-publications/state-of-americas-children-2011/intro.html

http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/us_hunger_facts.htm

http://www.endhomelessness.org/content/article/detail/4361

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