Sunday, January 19, 2014

Nowhere Is Now Here

I had some time to myself yesterday as my wife and daughter were out Thelma and Louising so I had an opportunity to look at news headlines that have been stacking up in my electronic in-basket like so many fallen leaves the winds have failed to move.

In the electronic era in which we live, I read almost everything of 'news' value on line though we still get papers delivered to the house. I love the feel and smell of newsprint in the morning and when I pick up the papers from the front porch or the sidewalk or bushes alongside the porch because the cretin of a carrier couldn't be bothered to hit the porch, I smile at memories of helping Robert  and Rickey, two friends of different eras, with their newspaper routes long ago.

Back then kids delivered the newspapers mostly the ones in the afternoon and there were plenty of afternoon papers to deliver. Now, not so much and adults handle the early morning routes. Not for pocket money but to supplement incomes that have been battered by lay-offs and cut-backs and benefits erosion so much that two or three jobs are often need to keep their families from drowning in debt.

If you've seen the papers in recent weeks, you know that 2014 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the War on Poverty as declared by President Lyndon Johnson, a cornerstone of his Great Society. Unfortunately, also a part of it was a slowly growing sucking wound, Vietnam, that eventually consumed his presidency and whose conduct and outcome cast a shadow we can feel to this day on our body politic and in the spirit of our country.

From other headlines I read, I've concluded we went from a national policy of a War on Poverty to waging war on poor people. The Gospel of Greed is Good, recognized by no religious congregation is still making converts in every city and town across this land as those who have now have more, and those who have none have no choice in how their lives will be.

Wall Street is living the life and on Main Street the light is going out. For those with the means to support the ends, life is good and is getting better all the time As for the rest with empty pockets and broken dreams, we can't make it here anymore.
-bill kenny

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