Hunger and healthcare are the two biggest issues in America today and we don’t have a good answer for either one. They are also the two biggest divides in our country. In both direction and responsibility.
The direction of healthcare under Obama was towards government responsibility and socialized medicine. The republican led congress wants to reverse the course laid out by the previous administration, but can’t come together long enough to do anything, but argue.
Meanwhile people continue to suffer with inferior health care and are going hungry here in America. Food banks are stressed to the point of having to close their doors with people crying at their doorstep.
Why? Here we are in America, the greatest country in the world and we’re watching our own people starve.
Here’s a phrase that should make you cry; “food insecurity.” The USDA defines food insecurity as a state in which “consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year.”
Over 40 million people here in America are struggling with hunger of which 13 million are children. Almost 5.5 million seniors deal with hunger on a daily basis.
According to an article put out by the Washington Post; the USA ranks next to last in children living in poverty compared to the rest of the developed nations. And the US ranks second to last in what the UNICEF calls the “child poverty gap,” which measures how far the average poor child falls below the relative poverty line. With the average poor child living in a home in America that makes 36 percent below the poverty line.
I’ve linked the article here.
One in four children in America live in a food insecure home. One in four. Let that settle in on you. Twenty five percent of American children can’t be sure of getting dinner. Think about your children’s classmates. There’s a good chance that many of them are going to bed hungry.
According to the USDA we waste about 40% of our food supply. 40%! Of which it is estimated that just 15% of that would feed 25 million people. Just a little something to think about the next time you’re throwing food out.
While hunger is the biggest concern for many, there are those that suffer from inadequate health care.
People are suffering at home from their ailments unable to afford healthcare. Unable to pick up their prescriptions from the pharmacy for lack of money or insurance.
Health insurers claim to be losing money because of the ACA, but continue to report record profits while paying their CEO’s tens of millions of dollars.
And Congress sits in their ivory tower in Washington DC bickering back and forth, pointing fingers and doing nothing.
And we, the people of America, keep re-electing these posturing pompous asses.
So, ultimately we, the American people, are to blame.
We spend a ridiculous amount of money each year on defense, over 600 billion dollars.
The United States spends more on national defense than China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, India, France, Japan and Germany combined. Over 3 times as much as the next highest country, China.
That’s simply absurd! It’s time we rethought our position as the world’s police department. It’s time for the other developed nations of the world to shoulder their share. It’s time for them to defend themselves. To spend their own hard earned dollars on their own defense.
Take 10% of the defense budget and put it towards feeding the hungry. 60 billion dollars will feed a lot of people.
We need to take care of our own. Fully fund Medicare and Medicaid.
Of the developed nations the US spends more per person, almost $12,000, on health care and pharmaceuticals combined. Of the top 20 developed nations the US has the lowest life expectancy, highest infant mortality rate and the highest maternal death rate.
It’s time to radically reform our health care system.
It’s time to force the pharmaceutical companies to lower the cost of prescription drugs.
It’s time to rethink our foreign and defense policy that’s lead by think tanks funded by the defense industry. A foreign and defense policy that is suited for the Cold War era that has come and gone.
It’s time to think of America first so that we can better take care of others later.
Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.
“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” Mike Tyson
Life sometimes throws us a left hook when we’re not expecting it and its in how we respond that identifies us. Do we react by throwing punches back or do we respond intelligently? Do we respond with love?
Instead of throwing punches back take a moment, pause, take a deep breath and then come out of your corner prepared to respond. But when you respond, do it with the right intentions.
The Taco Truck episode.
“Please hang on, I’m working by myself, I had two no show no calls this morning.”
“I’m going to take a few orders and then get started. What can i get you?”
“Ok, got it. What can I get you?” “Got it, thats $15, cool, correct change. How about you? What can I get you?”
“I’m working as fast as i can here, I had two no show no calls this morning. I pay my people good money to work. I don’t know what’s going on. Yes I do.”
“They’re boyfriend/girlfriend and they went out last night and got drunk. Now they don’t feel like showing up. I’m going to have to hire somebody else.”
“Here you go. A taco salad and a ultimate taco. Thanks”
While the Taco Truck trip didn’t go as well as it could have, taking a few extra minutes to get our order, we could have done without the running monologue of why it was taking a little longer than normal.
Rushing to get the orders out as quickly as he could, in his rush he didn’t cook the chicken all the way through. To his credit, he refunded the money for the taco salad and apologized profusely.
By the way…
The ultimate taco was excellent.
“Do you do the right thing at the right time with the right intentions?”
From the Taco man’s response I would say this isn’t the first time something like this has happened to him. While he rolled with the punch to the mouth and dived into his work it didn’t seem like he, first, hadn’t learned from the previous experiences and, second, didn’t respond in the best manner.
I shared the Taco Truck experience to illustrate how stress affects us, not to humiliate or disparage him.
Stress, even in the smallest of things, can adversely affect the best of us. It’s in our response to this stress where we show how our own history, our own story, has affected us.
Today when you are stressed or put in an uncomfortable position pause before responding. Take a second, put the smile back on your face and respond with the best of intentions.
Don’t let a bad reaction on your part ruin a perfectly good day. Roll with the punches and surprise everyone, throw love back at them.
Thanks for stopping by. Until net time.
I had a friend tell me that our flag is just a piece of cloth and the anthem just words. That he put his faith in the constitution and nothing else.
Under this flag our nation fought a war of freedom, a war to free slaves and give all those living here freedom and equal rights. While we still fight to ensure those freedoms are applied equally to all, our flag represents the perfect idealisms of those freedoms even as we deal with our own imperfections as individuals and groups.
Under this flag we have fought oppressions of the worst kind. Going to the world’s assistance time and again.
When Francis Scott Key heralded that “our flag was still there,” he merged the physical symbol of the nation with the universal feelings of patriotism and courage. Francis Scott Key’s song established the flag as the expression of our national identity.
You can’t separate our flag from the military anymore than you can separate the national anthem from the flag.
Kneeling in protest in front of the flag during the playing of the national anthem is offensive and disrespectful to our flag, military and country. The NFL players, coaches and owners who protest by kneeling during the playing of the national anthem and then do nothing to resolve the issues of the protest are hypocritical.
They have the money and resources to bring more attention and possible resolutions to their cause. By taking a knee and doing nothing else they are doing nothing more than whining. They are just entertainers on their stage bellyaching and bitching. Until they put their money where their knees are they need to shut up and stand up.
Where can they put their money? Ohhhh. Plenty of places.
They can start by donating to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. The LDF works to even the field for African Americans.
From their website:
The LDF seeks to ensure that the job selection process does not negatively impact African-Americans, reduce employment barriers to those with criminal records, decrease disproportionate incarceration and sentencing as well as racially biased exercise of discretion by police and prosecutors, increase equity in education by increasing graduation rates (K-12 and college) among African-Americans, foster adoption of racially equitable and research-based approaches to school discipline, achieve more African-American engagement and fairness in the next round of redistricting, and ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act, NVRA, and other voting rights laws.
They can donate to the ACLU. Remember these folks? Fighting for the civil liberties of everyone.
They can help enact legislation that makes policy makers face their own racism. This one is pretty simple with 60% of those behind bars being either African American of Latino it’s obvious that law enforcement is disproportionately targeting people of color.
They can donate money to police departments for the purchase of body cameras. Most police departments are underfunded and would welcome them.
There are several states looking at creating legislation that would make body cameras a requirement for law enforcement. But legislation must include clear paths to review footage of any incidence. This protects both sides.
They can help establish independent civilian oversight agencies for law enforcement departments. This would provide independent reviews of complains instead of solely relying on the police to investigate themselves.
These are just a few examples of places they could invest their time and money.
From the book “Our Flag” published in 1989 by the House of Representatives…
◦ “On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress passed a resolution authorizing a committee to devise a seal for the United States of America. This mission, designed to reflect the Founding Fathers’ beliefs, values, and sovereignty of the new Nation, did not become a reality until June 20, 1782. In heraldic devices, such as seals, each element has a specific meaning. Even colors have specific meanings. The colors red, white, and blue did not have meanings for The Stars and Stripes when it was adopted in 1777. However, the colors in the Great Seal did have specific meanings. Charles Thompson, Secretary of the Continental Congress, reporting to Congress on the Seal, stated:
◦ “The colors of the pales (the vertical stripes) are those used in the flag of the United States of America; White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness & valour, and Blue, the color of the Chief (the broad band above the stripes) signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice.”
The flag, printed colors and shapes on cloth. The flag that has flown over our country in various configurations for over two hundred years. The flag that our countrymen have fought under for freedom and against oppression. The flag that the world has looked to in their times of need. The flag, our flag, is more than colors and shapes on cloth.
Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.
Love and Conversation conquers hate and divisiveness.
Racism had reared its ugly head in Charlottesville, VA. But now its time for love and conversation to take over. I have a hard time understanding the hatred people have against someone based solely on the color of their skin. Hatred in and of itself is hard enough to understand, but hatred without basis? Why?
Isaiah 58 tells us what God expects from His people.
To be humble, feed the hungry, house the homeless, provide life’s necessities for those that can’t help themselves, be kind to our neighbors, honor the Sabbath and stop condemning the defenseless.
That’s a simplified list. Simplified for me.
No mention of race, color or economic status. Just to love our neighbors no matter who that might be.
Over the last few days I’ve read and listened to many different people trying to figure out where this country stands on racism. What I’ve found is that most people don’t know where we are.
Are there problems in the inner cities? Obviously yes. Are there problems in the rural areas? Yes. But, for most of America, I don’t believe we’re locked in racial divide. And I do believe we, the American people, can stand as one and resolve the issues still dividing us.
I say this because I know where I come from, how I was raised and what I am now. Having been raised in a racist home in the 60’s and 70’s I know what racism looks and acts like. How it sounds and feels. It’s ugly, destructive and full of hate.
With the hate coming to the surface we, as a country, have the opportunity to come together and defeat this ugly, divisive and fundamentally wrong ideology.
But will we?
Will our leaders use this moment in time to galvanize opposition of these groups or will it be lost in the mass of confusing voices.
With mixed signals coming from the president wanting to lay blame on “all sides”, instead of using the moment to bring us together against the hatred, we are in danger of losing any momentum that was to be had.
Hate groups have decided to be quite and let the anger against them settle and with this any galvanizing moment we might have had has been lost.
But we, the American people, can and will still stand united against their hatred.
To stand against hatred not with more hatred, but with love. You don’t defeat hatred with more hatred for only light can drive out darkness and only love can drive out hatred.
Using this man as an example, 58-year-old Blues musician Daryl Davis, conversation and friendship defeats their hatred. Not rocks, hate filled shouts or fists, but sitting down and talking over coffee.
Using Daryl Davis’ playbook, conversation will ultimately turn more hearts to inclusiveness then all the hate filled speeches and thrown punches.
Love and conversation.