Wednesday, December 18, 2013

once upon a time...

We're off for the holidays again!  After a few exhausting weeks of test-driving vehicles, we finally replaced Oly the Volvo with Klaus the Audi, so we've been having fun working on providing ourselves with entertainment on this 14-hour drive, using the fancy media possibilities we now have.  Part of our preparations included recording a schmeer of vintage radio plays.

Today we've listened to a couple of Sherlock Holmes adventures, a Radio Mystery Theatre episode, a few Philip Marlowe stories (straight from Chandler's pages -- I was impressed) and some miscellany.  Though we've enjoyed a number of SHes in the past, they were all sponsored by one company; today's episodes had different advertisers, and at the end of one adventure there was a plea for help on behalf of the suffering people of Europe after WWII.  A ten-dollar donation to CARE would provide a significant amount of food for, say, a French orphan or Belgian widow, as examples.

Once upon a time America actually did GOOD in the world.  I'm ashamed of how we've slipped.

We used to come to the aid of our allies because it was the right thing to do.  I won't claim we had nothing but altruistic motives, but ... how things have changed.  The closest thing one sees to charitable generosity, these days, is taxpayer funds being handed out to already-prosperous businessmen and foreign governments which turn around and stab us in the back at the first opportunity.  Individual Americans pour out their private donations to charities which don't do what they claim to, or enrich mega-churches and their showmen "pastors."

Nice, kind, good people i know are heard to say that they don't want their tax-dollars going to help "freeloaders" who "don't want to work" to help themselves, while they don't want to learn that the ones they punish are mostly children, the elderly and disabled.  Our famous food-stamp issue hides the fact that a lot of the money in that program goes not to poor people needing help feeding their children, but to BigAg businesses.  These then turn around and bribe the FDA and USDA and anyone else they can influence to make BAD food CHEAP, and promoted to busy or less-educated people as "healthy" choices.

There are some really screwed-up priorities in the world today, and though we don't have a monopoly on it WE might be the worst example.  How the mess will pan out ... well, i'm hoping that the pendulum's inevitable backward swing will come sooner than later, but won't be holding my breath.  :-(


  1. I feel that the "free-loaders" thing is really an anomaly. I support food banks and find it heart-breaking that the people who are at a social disadvantage have to jump through hoops to get a little help. The way I look at it is: a dollar that goes to ending child poverty/hunger is a dollar invested in our work force/labour potential. A population that is healthy, happy, and educated is a smart, productive workforce. Too bad HFCS is cheap as dirt and organic greens are uber expensive - priorities are messed up, indeed.

    1. yes, the estimates of number of poor people gaming the system are pretty low, compared to things like medicare fraud perpetrated by the medical industry!

      but you just gave me a good idea -- the money I USED to give the Salvation Army, Red Cross, Goodwill etc is going to food banks from now on! :-)

  2. Here, Here! It is a sad situation. I few it will only worsen.

    1. there is still a lot of good-will in the world - just less than there should be. :-) a casual acquaintance of mine just "committed" a wonderful act of charity, and I confess his kindness has raised my opinion of him immeasurably!