Sunday, February 28, 2010

Teach Your Children, Part I

Even before I had children of my own, I couldn't fathom how any person could not strive to leave a better, more prosperous, more healthy (or at least, not worse) world for his or her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and for all future generations, to live in.
Honestly, I can't (& never could) understand how captains of industry (have) manage(d) to go along, aimlessly polluting, wasting and destroying natural resources, fueling wars, etc., and still manage to go home and face their children without being crushed by guilt.
I've never been able to grasp the waging of wars and all that warfare brings, the indifference to poverty, hunger and disease that many world leaders who have children and families have displayed over the years.
I've pictured my kids, alone and aging, without me or any one to protect them, in a hostile world. I've pictured unknown descendants, little ones just as adorable and inquisitive as my babies were, unable to understand why they are being punished daily by living in a war-torn, filthy-beyond-reclamation, drained of resources-both economic and natural-world.
Leaders talk about a better world, but I feel safe in saying that most have never put their money where their mouths are, as it's infinitely more lucrative for them to put their money in their pockets and turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the sorry state of the environment, the political landscape-including massive debt- and the close-to-mortally-wounded world.
So I find it worth mentioning, worth lauding, worth celebrating that in the wee hours of this morning, I read this quote by a sitting U.S. Senator, accompanied by supporting action:
"The present level of debt is unsustainable. I have too many grand children that want to grow up in the same America that I grew up."
Before I continue, I have to reiterate that politically, I'm an Independent. I'm an equal opportunity supporter or critic, regardless of political affiliation.
The Senator who uttered those words is Jim Bunning, R-Ky., the same fellow I wrote about in my last entry. Bunning is the Senator who caused unemployment & health insurance benefits to run out today, leaving more than 1 million jobless Americans high and dry.
Bunning took this unpopular, loathed action (so far this weekend, police have investigated bomb threats at 2 of Bunning's offices) because he believes the Senate should obey just-passed legislation that requires Congress to pay for legislation as it comes along, eliminating the practice of adding to the National debt. Bunning further put his money where his mouth is by suggesting that the $10 billion, 30-day extension of unemployment and health insurance benefits be paid for by utilizing left over funds from last year's economic stimulus plan.
Bunning chastised Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for earlier squashing what Bunning saw as a solution to the unemployment insurance debacle, a bipartisan, $85 billion bill through which "all programs you have talked about could have been extended and for much longer periods . . .(if you) had not blown up the bipartisan job bill," Bunning told Reid.
(Bunning's quotes come from Fox News. I read news accounts from about 15 sources daily, so I can remain fair and balanced (!).)
The Senate will likely pass the extension of unemployment and health insurance benefits on Tuesday, and as there's not a better plan to address the more than 1 million citizens who face indefinite joblessness, the extension should be passed.
But the next time I'm explaining my views to one of my children, or nieces or nephews, or any young child, young man or young woman, I will hold Bunning , and this particular situation, up as an example of sound reasoning and viable honesty in politics.
Part II of "Teach Your Children" coming soon.
Be well. Be happy. Be safe. Leave a comment! What do you think?

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