Monday, April 17, 2006


We have a multitude of thoughts and plans going on, what with our upcoming trip to India for Mohit's wedding, a cabin to build in September, and potential new jobs/moves in October-- plus the normal stuff, like flowers and nighttables and Kagan's ongoing search for an affordable Toyota Tundra. So it's hard to focus on one thing and deliver a diatribe!

Nonetheless, I have risen to the occasion.

We heard a very sad piece on NPR this weekend about rural seniors who have to choose between medicine, fuel, and food. Apparently, there's an already-underfunded foodbox program that is due to be cut in the next round of the budget overhaul.

Diatribe number one:

I am all for cutting the budget. America has reached its debt ceiling, that number that we're not ever really supposed to get to. And what were the consequences?

We raised the ceiling. Now it's okay to be x number of trillions in debt, even though we said it wasn't before. However, it does seem ridiculous to me (anyone, anyone?) that we fund wars in foreign countries before we feed our old people, or send more to AIDS orphans, or give our teachers raises, or -- fill in the blank.

Diatribe number two:

Practice what you preach.

This saying came from somewhere. Someone had to mean it. And so, we teach our children to 1: save. 2: not knock down smaller kids just because you can. 3: when you don't turn in your homework/do your chores/feed the dog, you will face the consequences.

Yet-- most Americans are very, very in debt. And not just for their houses. And then, on a national level, we bully other nations, and on a local level-- well, there are people who hire day laborers and then don't pay them the promised wage. Because they don't have to. Lastly, consequences. Our staggering amount of national debt is a consequence. Our piss-poor air quality is a consequence. The mutating frogs and bleaching reefs are consequences. And so what do we do? Raise the debt ceiling, deny the evidence, say it's not our fault.

We can't change the government, but we can try to limit the use of bleach, recycle plastics and magazines, buy the recycled paper products.

It'd be nice if we did the things we told our kids to. Pick up after yourself. Take care of any creatures in your possession. Say please and thank you.

Diatribe number 3:

There's a lot of need in this world, and personally, it overwhelms me. Occasionally we send off checks, more out of guilt than anything else, and you know what? I have no idea what happens to that money. I don't see it make any kind of difference.

So, not to slam charitable giving, but when I heard about those seniors on NPR, I began thinking about what will fill in the gaps for those people when obviously the government will fail them.

And my only answer is the old-fashioned community.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your answer is a very good one---community and taking responsibility.Amen,sister!