Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I started this post with a purpose but soon forgot it. This is typical for those of us with an INFP Personality Type. Sorry about that...

When we lived in Roseville and went to the local Presbyterian church, we got involved in a school breakfast program. The church had a very small storage building on the corner of their parking lot, close to the street. This street location was about a block away from a local elementary school. The building had been closed for many years but a wonderful group of church men opened it up and painted it, renovating the inside and adding the necessary plumbing and wiring to convert it to place where volunteers could make and serve breakfast. The same group went to the local grocery stores and milk suppliers to beg for anything they could give. And they did give. We told the school what we were doing and they spread the word to their students; breakfast would be served, for free, starting about an hour before the start of school. Pretty soon we were feeding breakfast to 80 or 100 students a day. It was great. We even fed parents and encouraged them to come in with their children. We made great friendships with them and we saw real changes in attitudes; children who once scowled as they came in the door were now running in to get a hug from one of the cooks. The school praised the program, as well fed children are children that can learn.

That was over twenty years ago. Do you think that the number of students needing breakfast has dropped since then? No, but the breakfast program is gone now as the 'elders' of the church decided it was diversion and not a ministry. No one else has come along to duplicate it.

Roseville is a wealthy city, home to plenty of millionaires. But to serve this wealthy city, you need citizens who aren't quite that lucky and they have to work. Usually both parents have to work…heck, not usually - both parents always have to work. What happens to a young family when both parents have to work? Slowly but surely, the family breaks down as a unit. Tired moms and dads don't make good parents. Children have no one to talk to when they come home from school, etc, etc…you know all the stories about this, why should I repeat it? This is just how it is in today's 'modern' world.

So, how did we get to this modern world where the wages of just one parent are not enough to support a family? We elected Ronald Reagan to high office. That was the turning point. And yes, I was there. I was a union carpenter and had been making enough to support our family in the style of the middle class; we had bought our house in the usual way, which was by giving the bank a statement of earnings where in a month I had to earn four times the estimated house payment. Then we gave the lender a ten percent down payment. We had purchased a new station wagon for our family with those wages. We had affordable health insurance which was needed when our youngest was suddenly rushed to the hospital for surgery. He was soon well enough to come home and we didn't have to sell the house to pay the bill. But it all changed with Reagan. My wife thought she should help to pay the bills now that my wages were no longer keeping up with prices. We were lucky, as she found a job working at night in the snack bar of the local drive-in theater. Our children still had mom at home when they arrived after school.

Those kinds of jobs are pretty rare today and so a family today is split apart by the demands of work and more work. And getting nowhere. Wages have not kept up with prices and the middle class is shrinking at a terrific rate. We are heading towards a Have vs Have not society and it's not far away. And those school breakfast programs are needed now more than ever. Heck, we need schools now!

How did we allow this to happen? By electing buffoons to represent us in the Senate and the House. By electing presidents with IQ's below 100 and then celebrating the fact that he's a 'good old boy'.

I suppose it's an ok thing for the Tea Party to assail intellectuals because we certainly aren't producing a lot of them anymore. And I can almost guarantee that our next President will be a buffoon with the intellect of a rock or a sack full of hammers. Take your pick.

You can see that at the end of this post I was really rambling and just hoping to find a way out of it…it's hard to have a conversation with yourself that makes a lot of sense.

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