Call off the Dogs
Say, A doggy is nuttin'
if he don't have a bone
--Who Let the Dogs Out, Baha Men
I am involved in mankind,
and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
it tolls for thee
--Meditation 17, John Donne
Protecting the rights of even the least individual among us
is basically the only excuse the government has for even existing
In particular, Gadsden County suffers an infant mortality rate almost double that of the rest of Florida.
A local editorial recently stated, "It is the story of the Third World-in our backyard." Further, "economic and educational deprivation are a clear and present danger to human welfare," and "the continuing lack of universal health care has the effect of condemning many poor people to significantly less healthy lives."
"A system that guaranteed primary health-care services for all would provide more than medicine; it would better educate, thus reducing the knowledge deficit that's at the root of the tragedy and, perhaps, diminish the rate of poverty that infects America's economy as well."On the same day, a U.N. study on child welfare was released, showing the U.S. ranked second to last among the 21 wealthiest countries surveyed (Great Britain was 21st.)
"'What (the U.S. and Britain) have in common are very high levels of inequality, very high levels of child poverty, which is also associated with inequality, and in rather different ways poorly developed services to families with children,' said [Jonathan] Bradshaw, a professor of social policy at the University of York in Britain [and one of the study's researchers.]
"'They don't invest as much in children as continental European countries do,' he said, citing the lack of day-care services in both countries and poorer health coverage and preventive care for children in the U.S."
The new federal budget has granted hundreds of billions of dollars for Department of Defense death machines, but poor babies, who offer no votes and whose parents probably are disenfranchised from the system, are largely ignored in a federal budget scheme that seems set up to protect more valuable assets. Valuable in our current system is defined as profitable.
Ironically, federal funds cannot be expended on disbursing birth control education, condoms or abortion assistance, yet little is done to aid the mother and fetus during pregnancy and beyond.
How can the administration justify expenditures on Iraqi children, when we have hungry children among our citizenry? So much energy spent on fomenting fears to justify exorbitant and illegal military action towards an imaginary threat, while the day-to-day reality and shame of hunger in America persists.
If this administration gave more than lip-service to human rights, serving the needs of our own citizens would be primary in their budgetary considerations. However, it is evident that fiduciary solvency is a prerequisite to gaining favor at the federal disbursement table.
The dogs must be called off, not just to save the lives of our troops, but to keep our precious tax dollars funding necessary programs at home, instead of being frittered away building and rebuilding futile efforts in the future theocracy of Iraq.
If we don't, we may find ourselves like Old Mother Hubbard who, to her surprise, could not give the doggie a bone as the cabinet was bare.
by Jim and Lisa