Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What are we doing to our country?

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church have waved their horrible picket signs at military funerals as well as other funerals for some time, trying, they say, to send the message that God is angry with the United States because of increasing acceptance of homosexuality.

Their Web page is filled with vile language and hatred: not the God in whom I was raised to believe.

And next fall the Supreme Court is actually going to consider a case about their rights to picket military funerals.

Where is compassion? Empathy? Respect for a soldier serving our country?

Conservatives are rallying en masse against the healthcare reform bill, calling it full of socialism, communism, and insisting the President and supporters are 'ramming' it down the throats of the people. ( Never mind that BOTH houses of Congress have already passed a healthcare reform bill. They're now voting on the compromise.)

What do they think Medicare is? Social Security? Who do they think REALLY controls healthcare in the US? We sure don't control what kind of care we get, nor what we pay for that insurance -- that is, if we can get it at all.

In California, more than 8 million people are without insurance. Know what happens when they finally have to visit the emergency room because they are too sick not to? We insured pay in increased insurance premiums as well as through increased hospital and physician costs.

Congress doesn't care, folks. They get great insurance, guaranteed, no waiting period or pesky pre-existing condition requirements, and we're paying for most of it. See what they get? And they're also getting some great perks and job offers from the health insurance companies who are lobbying so heavily against healthcare reform.

Where is compassion? Where is empathy? How can this happen in our country -- people dying because they can't afford healthcare? Isn't that what happens in third-world countries? Surely not in the United States! (think again)

Education budget cuts across the country are causing thousands of teacher layoffs and program cuts. There are many schools who have few or no arts programs because they can't afford it and haven't been able to for years. Sports programs -- at least in sports other than football -- have been cut. Diversity in education is waning. In my town, our adult education program is being eliminated -- no more computer classes or GED classes.

So we have another group unemployed and searching for non-existent jobs.

But who suffers? Our kids. Our future. Their future.

And history is being rewritten anyway, at least in Texas, and because they are the country's largest purchaser of textbooks, their decisions will eventually affect the rest of our country's curriculum.

In 50 years, we may not even acknowledge that the Holocaust happened, if the conservatives have their way, not to mention evolution. If it even takes THAT long.

What is happening to our country?

It scares me. And my only consolation, honestly, is that I am 62, and likely will not live long enough to see the full effects of the hatred, twisted unethical actions, and poor, inadequate and misleading education. Unfortunately my daughters probably will.

I am also beginning to understand why I've always seen so many grey heads among the politically active. Mine may soon be one of them.

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