Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dateline: The American Future

"What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish?
Son of man, you cannot say, or guess
for you know only 
a heap of broken images
where the sun beats."   T S Eliot  from "The Waste Land"

 If you saw NBC's Dateline a couple of Sundays ago, I'm sure your heart was touched by the story of the young man named Vanya, born in Moscow to an unfit mother and given over to the state because he was challenged. He has cerebral palsy, but he was placed in the Russian version of mental institutions as a child.  His life there was horrible, a Dickensian nightmare, and through a remarkable series of coincidences and lucky breaks, he was adopted by a woman in Bethlehem, PA, and now lives here, loved and loving.

I found it more than a bit ironic that this program aired on the same weekend that Congress narrowly averted shutting down the government by agreeing to a 2011 federal budget that contains billions of dollars worth of cuts to early childhood development programs, job training for unemployed workers, energy assistance for needy families, and family planning programs.  This was all pushed through by the Republican majority in the House, and it doesn't even begin to satisfy the hollering coming from tea partiers who want funding for all sorts of good things cut way, way back. At the same time, the GOP defends spending 295 billion dollars this year on Bush era tax cuts for wealthy people and big corporations they own.

So, when today's young rightwingers have children, let's hope and pray that none of them have special needs or disabilities.  Or at least, we'd better hope that the parents of children so challenged also happen to own oil companies or Wall Street banks, because we are dashing headlong down the road to taking away everything that makes America so great. 
Now is the time for your tears

And meanwhile, just so there is always a circus to take the peoples' minds off the lack of bread, the Republicans offer the lurid spectacle of a Donald Trump presidential candidacy.  

That's Donald Trump, who once said, "I'm a bit of a P. T. Barnum. I make stars out of everyone."

That's P.T. Barnum, who once said, "There's a sucker born every minute."

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