Two Facts in Search of a Solution

One of the major reasons that I fight nearly any program that the right proposes is that they seem so unnaturally determined to lie even when the truth is far more beneficial. An excellent case in point can be found in the March 29, 1998 issue of the Orange County edition of the LA Times. The Parade magazine's front page trumpets the article within by attorney Andrew Vachss concerning his crusade against all forms of child abuse.

This is a crusade which is of utmost importance, I completely agree. Vachss needs to provide only factual information to prove the horrors far too many children endure and to encourage us all to fight this scourge.

Instead, he feels the need to act as if there is a huge debate over the right to post what he terms "kiddie porn" on the internet and acts as if some huge, organized liberal group is trying to protect those who make such filth available. He even goes so far as to claim that "human animals" tolerate and condone the abuse of children.

This article is the epitome of the right wing propaganda machine at work. Absolutely nowhere does he provide proof of his horrendous charges nor does he cite any studies or facts to show where he gains such contemptible insights. Instead, he spends most of the article attacking some invisible trend of human conduct which any reasonable person would find laughable.

There is no doubt that any abuse of a child, be it physical or sexual or emotional, is below contempt and must be erased from our lands through education and, if need be, through whatever punishment fits each individual crime. It is never acceptable to harm a child, ever!

Articles such as this, however, only distract us from the necessary search for solutions. To make nonsensical charges against phantom groups will never advance our species towards any decent goal but, as is usually the case, it is the argument of choice for the right.

The same weekend that Vachss' article appeared, the Daily News' USA WEEKEND edition reported on the abomination which is hunger in America. The figures cited should depress anyone who still has a heart filled with something other than greed.

35 million Americans live in families where hunger and "food -insecurity" is a daily obstacle. Due to the ungodly "Welfare Reform" inflicted on the poor, 92% of American cities expect the demand for food assistance to rise in 1998, according to the U.S. Conference of Mayors. 1997 saw a 16% increase but one fifth of the hungry and needy had to be turned away due to lack of resources. Last year, 26 million Americans were forced to seek out food banks, according to Second Harvest. The breakdown of those millions were; 37.6% were male, 62.4% were female. Nearly 38% were children 17 years old or younger, 16% were 65 or older. Racially, 47.1% were white, 32.1% black, 14.6% Hispanic and 3.3% Native American or Alaskan or classified as "other". A full 60% of those seeking food had a high school diploma and 19% had some college.

Now that the Far Right has destroyed every safety net for the nation's poorest people, these numbers will skyrocket. With America's churches seemingly more interested in building huge symbols of their congregation's wealth rather than following their Bible's demand that they care for the women and children around them living in poverty, the poor can expect no help from that sector. With America's wealthier citizens expressing their profound desire to amass more and more wealth while whining loudly whenever expected to actually pay their fair share to support this nation, America can only expect more crying and no sympathy from them.

Basically, what we are facing is more and more loud and distracting rhetoric leading us only deeper into the fog of conservatism while those who need our help the most are ignored and left to the hell that the right wants to inflict on anyone not wealthy enough to own the representation that is outright for sale in America. Until the pain inflicting voices of the far right are put off to the side we can only expect the present to remain mean and the future to hold even more greed. How sad.

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Copyright 9/5/98