When I was ten, after my father was killed in action; My mother, sister, and I were thrown into a difficult situation. There was welfare and food stamps at that time, but we couldn’t enroll. Suddenly no income, there was no time and no one to look out for us. We were very much on our own. I was very young but I remember what it looked like from the other side…
My mother did her best to shield my sister and I from struggle. I remember sleeping on an army surplus cot in a hallway until my Mom was able to find work and a better place to live. I remember dinner being a pound of burger, a can of beans, a can of tomatoes, spices and peppers to make chili. The next day we added macaroni noodles and squash to make goulash. Sometimes we extended the pot till Friday. Everything was stretched to the limit. I saw how hard my mother worked, she was fortunate to be talented and educated. We eventually found better places to live but it was tough getting there.
There is no glamor in simple survival after major misfortune. Just the desire to try, to somehow make ends meet, to have food, shelter, and maybe get ahead. We were able to get past that hardship, and others, but it took my mother’s steadfast determination, courage and hard work. I learned through my experience to appreciate and deeply respect the struggle that my mother went through, the struggles many people face daily.
If not for Military dependent benefits, Education grants, and the generosity of friends and family we would have had a far more difficult time. Today some of the support we received is no longer available to people struggling to get ahead or get back on their feet. The security of extended family and community is also becoming more rare.
Anyone could have, or has had, misfortune enough to find themselves broke and homeless. It is happening more and more in the “richest country in the world”. Young or old people are finding themselves out on their own with little or no support. Unfortunately the politics of social programs has made the stigma surrounding social assistance worse as the amount of aid has been cut. Today it seems that asking for help is worse then needing help! There should be no shame in asking for help if you need it. There is no dignity in misfortune, or having to ask others for help, there shouldn’t be further stigma or harm, emotional or financial, done by the people elected to represent us.
We need to find ways to house those who need a roof over head and assure that children have food and everyone has health care they need. This is not to preserve or create a “welfare state” but to lend some support, job training, and counseling to help people move into meaningful jobs capable of a supporting a person with dignity, allowing us all to become more successful.
I have heard it said that “When there are more jobs to fill than people to fill them, wages rise as business competes for people”. More jobs than people has not happened in the “real world” often enough for wages to rise at the same rate as the cost of things in the market – we have been in a job market which has been to the advantage of business for a very long time, and perhaps for a long time to come, where there are people who wish to work and not enough jobs driving wages down relative to the cost of living. An adjustment needs to be made and there are things which need government investment to get them done.
Wages have not risen for years and have never kept up with the cost of inflation. Many people now work two or more jobs to afford the cost of an apartment, food, and transportation. Health care, and dental care, vocational training or higher education are mostly out of reach. Raising wages will better quality of life for for every one and would create job openings as two, or more positions would not be needed to make ends meet.
The nation’s infrastructure must have an overhaul in order to rise out of the last century and in order to meet the challenges of the next century. It will require millions of people working all over the nation to bring our country into the next century in transportation, energy, communications, agriculture, and in all forms of commerce. In transportation alone the estimate is around one trillion dollars per year for at least three years and millions of workers to do the work.
Cutting taxes and bankrupting the Government means that the support that families, students, and senior citizens need will be cut first by the Republican majority in power now. We all will loose what little support we have or may need in the future. We cannot give away social support now or in the future for corporate profits in hope that we will see some pittance given back… Capitalism does not work that way!
Its been 152 years since the end of the US Civil War, and 52 years after congress passed the Civil Rights Act, still, sadly, prejudice and bigotry are prominently displayed in our country.
It is shameful that the seething under tow of hate has been fanned to flame by the actions and statements of a man elected to high office by his manipulation and intent to rally separatist, nationalist, xenophobic hate to support him.
This is not the United States of America I want
This is not the United States of America I love
Fear, hate, and despair are the road to tyranny and oppression!
I will fight with every molecule of my being for compassion, consideration and understanding, to dispel hate and fear, and for the rights and dignity of all!
Something else to remember on this day in July –
On this day in 1826, fifty years after the Declaration of Independence from England, former Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who were once fellow Patriots and then adversaries, die on the same day within five hours of each other.
On July 4, 1826, at the age of 90, Adams lay on his deathbed while the country celebrated Independence Day. His last words were “Thomas Jefferson still survives”. He was mistaken: Jefferson had died five hours earlier at Monticello at the age of 82.
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were the last surviving members of the original American revolutionaries who had stood up to the British empire and forged a new political system in the former colonies. However, while they both believed in democracy, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their opinions on how to achieve these ideals diverged over time.
The differences of opinion and the bitter 1800 campaign for president led these two men to never again speak directly to each other. After many years they exchanged letters and reconciled. There was always great respect each for the other. We carry on the differences over which they argued in our governance today. Let’s not forget that despite the differences and opinions they argued, they were able to found a new government and a country which has endured more than two centuries.
We must carry on a commitment to the new form of governance they created, with civil discourse and heated debate, But each side must at least attempt to reconcile and find a way forward beyond the vitriol as these two men did.
“Necessitous men are not free men. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.”
That quote is from a January 1944 State of the Union speech –
FDR went on to outline what was then, and is still, a set of rights for peace, prosperity, and security for our country. He described to congress a “second bill of rights”.
“In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.
Among these are:
The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
The right of every family to a decent home;
The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
The right to a good education.”
He finishes the statement with –
“America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for all our citizens. For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.”
By today’s standard FDR Was a left wing progressive radical. His policies worked for bringing back prosperity, and got us through the Great Depression.
Big business did not, and does not, like how it was done. Big business has, through the Republican agenda, dismantled as much of the New Deal as possible reversing the progress made to realize FDR’s goals. Big Business continues to erode these rights, and in the process they erode the very fabric of the governance which make these rights and successful businesses possible.
These are simple human rights, and provide simple human dignity.
a good education
All are necessary for “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”
Support FDR’s “second bill of rights”. Raise the standard of living for all of America in the 21st century. Stand up for personal dignity, and the dignity of our fellows.
Fight for what is right, and do what we are able to do to make it happen!
The other day I happened across these statements in an article titled
“While it sounds obvious, we’re all often tempted to do nothing or to wait for the right moment. Waiting for the right moment to take certain actions can be prudent. But waiting for something to come to you will result in nothing happening.”
” Either you can do something on a task—even a small amount—today, or you can return to it later. But no matter what, take some action towards your goals every day if you ever want to make progress getting there.”
The statement about action made me realize, I use this tactic to be highly productive and accomplish many things in many areas every day.
Take action today!
Contribute to a goal of changing the direction of the US congress.
It is difficult to imagine what we have lost of our past. It is even more difficult to imagine what more we will lose….
Changes to and reversal of federal policy will dissolve federal designations of land which could threaten development of resources within some of the most pristine and sensitive ecologic and archaeologic areas in the US.
We have lost much of the cultural knowledge and life-ways of our world by the assimilation of cultures into “modern western culture”, by force or with the promise of “a better life”, ancient heritage, language, crafts, survival methods, and many other things are repressed and forgotten.
We have a chance to at least save the landscapes, and those sites and sacred places we have left, for the future. Perhaps our grandchildren will visit these places and recapture and revitalize understanding of those things which have been forgotten.
Only preservation will allow the future to have a physical connection to the past, and only that connection will give those future children the knowledge and skills needed to understand, to know, the bond between the earth and us and truly revel in its wonder.
It is time to Act and demand the preservation of our natural, spiritual,and ancient heritage!
In the current economic environment where despair and joblessness have become normal, 30% of New Mexico children are hungry and homelessness is on the rise. Investments in social services and mental health are being cut. It is not difficult to understand the rise in crime – in particular property crime, and a corresponding rise in the rate of incarceration.
The answer is not to jail more people but to truly improve the economic environment. Providing work and livable wages will lift people out of despair, help them feed their children, and have a real opportunity to change their lives for the better.
How do we provide a realistic possibility to rise from poverty and despair? How do we create tens of thousands of opportunities across the country?
There are needs all over the nation for creating new public infrastructure. Infrastructure for commerce, for transportation, for information, and for energy distribution to meet the challenges of the next century. We have neglected much of the country’s critical utilities and public works. The American Society of Civil Engineers have estimated the cost to bring the nation’s infrastructure back to “good” condition would be 4.6 trillion dollars.
With careful direction and a goal in mind, antiquated components could be upgraded and integrated into an new energy and transportation paradigm. An energy and transportation system built for a new energy economy and designed to serve the nations changing needs as we move to a less fossil fuel dependent economy.
Making this type of change is an enormous task which will require millions of people working to bring the needed changes. The job opportunities created provide wages which will encourage and improve the economy across the nation. It is not just a jobs program but a national revitalization program. The resulting improvements to commerce and industry will continue to build upon the efficiency of the newly revitalized systems.
The cost of a plan like this can be compared to the war efforts over the last twelve years. The present estimates are that the “War on Terror” and military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq have cost 4.4 trillion. This is compounded by the interest as this money has been borrowed, adding to the ever larger national debt. Think of the country had we invested 4.4 trillion over the last twelve years here at home.
Getting people working will reduce incarceration rates, and reduce hunger and homelessness by providing livable wages while providing the infrastructure we will need in a changing economic and climatic environment.
Really! We are out of the Paris Accord? Why?
An Agreement with almost 200 nations and ten years in the making! Trashed because one ignorant man decided the agreement was “a bad idea”. There are mistakes and missteps in world politics and then there are errors of world catastrophic proportions bordering on species extinction stupid. Trump just made an error of the second type.
America is not first making the change that is needed to reverse greenhouse gas effects.
On this weekend when we remember those who gave their lives in service to our great nation.
I salute you and your service to our country.
Please stand with the men and women who serve our military and our Veterans.
On this Memorial day as every Memorial day – in remembrance of my father and his flight crew –
John L. Abrams,
Raymond D Robinson,
Dennis M. Womble
Final Mission of LT John L. Abrams
Posted on 10/14/16 – by email@example.com