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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Why Are Our Political Leaders Insane?

You know all this deficit and debt talk is a contrived crisis, right? And the ginned up hysteria around raising the debt ceiling? Which is not to say that it should not be raised. It should. Immediately and without any further delay or any further hostage-taking, grandstanding or budget-dealing, back-room meetings, stupid speeches or anything else.

It takes a bill that is all of one sentence. Ten minutes for each house. A minute for a signature by the President. Done.

What has disappeared in all of this is our sense of morality as a country - our humanity, our spirit of sharing and caring.

We have a much smaller but no less real crisis here in my town. Our local homeless shelter, which is located in a far-from-ideal building succeeded in getting a large grant to build a badly needed new building. They spent months looking for a site, finally identified one, and on advice from the mayor, proceeded to do most of the preliminary paperwork and permitting without notifying the residential neighbors.

Well, the neighbors have now found out and the predictable backlash is in full force. And the loudest objections were because they weren't notified at the start of the process. The cowardly mayor then backed down and told the shelter people that maybe they should find another place because this one was "too controversial". Yeah - it's a derelict bar. On a block with two more bars and a casino. On one of the state highways that runs through town. Not very kid friendly. But it is close to the community clinic, a large grocery store, a bus stop, the hospital, and a school.

Oh wait, see that's a problem. This shelter is for women with children but we absolutely cannot allow it to be near a school!!! The principal of the school even wrote a letter to the editor stating that she did not want to allow any of "those" kids in "her" school! Wow! The whole neighborhood is jumping up and down calling people who are defending this project nasty names and screaming about how sacred "their wonderful neighborhood" is. I got news for them. This is the Northside. As in the wrong side of the tracks. You know what that means. There is nothing wonderful about it. There are probably as many or more people living in cars and little tiny travel trailers in backyards in that wonderful neighborhood as would be housed in this new homeless shelter. But "those" people in that brand new shelter are going to drag the home values down. Down from where? Have you noticed that the banks already did that number on you?

This whole thing just makes me sick. I guess it makes other people sick too. The directer of the shelter organization has now quit. So in addition to trying to find another site, they are now also looking for a new director. And "those people" are still needing shelter.

Still sucks to be poor. It didn't used to be a crime but apparently it is fast becoming one.

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