Michigan's Poor Children Face An Uphill BattleWritten by Brian McAfee
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Michigan's Republican-controlled legislature cut clothing allowance from $75 to $25 to assist Republican tax cuts for rich.
Another aspect to this plan was that lawmakers also trimmed back eligibility, limiting it to school-age children, four years and older on public assistance. Previously infants and toddlers were eligible.
It has been noted that this past winter many children have been going to school without coats, boots or hats!
Gov. Granholm is in many ways an improvement over our now former Gov. John Engler, but she has yet to prove herself an advocate for poor -- particularly poor children.
On a wider scale, west Michigan social activist and advocate for poor, Father Jack LaGoe said: "A nation willing to put itself into a debt of $400 billion a year for foreseeable future, asking only poor and lower middle class to pay for it, has lost its vision and any hope of peace." All articles are ? Copyleft 2003, Michigan Socialist Articles may be reproduced, printed and distributed freely, as long as proper attribution is given. Any questions or comments, write a Letter to Editor
Brian is a freelance writer and political activist who currently lives in West Michigan.
What Is American Interventionism Really About?Written by Brian McAfee
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A few years ago this story took another turn. In a vote East Timor declared its own independence. The Indonesians violently retreated off island, burning and looting as they went. The U.S. and Australian military were present to make sure their former ally in crime left an interesting twist to this is that prior to U.S. and Australian assistance to kick out Indonesian occupiers, in a short article in an Australian newspaper it was announced that oil and natural gas was found off shore in East Timor territorial waters. [Over 400,000 were killed in these struggles]
From '68 to '73 according to William Shawcross, a war reporter and author of "Sideshow", about bombing of Cambodia U.S. routinely and indiscriminately bombed poor villages up and down borders of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. The numbers of non combatants killed are unknown because there was no census but it is likely to be very high. Another tragic atrocity that few Americans know about but resulted from direct and violent interference in another third world democracy. In 1970 Chile elected its first socialist president Salvador Allende. A medical doctor, Allende's first act as president was to make it mandatory that all school children should be given milk during school day as he noticed a certain vitamin deficiency among some of poor children which impacted their learning. About a third of country lived in severe poverty and his ambition was to rectify this and pay for usual, infrastructure, health care, schools. Chile's major natural resource is copper and Allende offered main U.S. owned copper company, Kennecott, current [at time] market price for value of copper mines at time, they said no and involved U.S. government, chief among them Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger. In short, U.S. enacted an embargo, boycotts and in end when nothing worked out to their satisfaction a coup was orchestrated out of Washington. Salvador Allende was assassinated on 9/11/73. The U.S. supported Augusto Pinochet dictatorship in which over 3,200 were murdered by Pinochet's henchmen. Many that were murdered were women and about 25,000 more were imprisoned and tortured, all civilian leftists.
These examples of U.S. conduct and foreign policy over past half century are just a partial glimpse of whole story. Our conduct throughout third world up to this point has been very anti-democratic. Another aspect to this is a national election that took place in Bolivia about five years ago in which only 5% of electorate voted, reason for this being people had no influence in their own country. The IMF and World Bank had taken control of nation's financing cutting funding for education, health care and infrastructure, privatizing everything possible, bringing foreign investors in so they could attempt to profit off backs of poor. This has been a long war on poor of world. A change in attitude and conduct is needed. A change in which mutual respect, mutual benefit and compassion are paramount. Almost all of aforementioned occurrences were preceded at home by declaration that they were being carried out for "Democracy's" or "freedom's" sake, none of which was true. I'm proud to be an American but many of our political leaders should be ashamed of themselves. Whether it were Nixon and Kissinger or are Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld they should do right thing not avaricious thing. The current situation in Liberia may provide an opportunity to do this. With America and Americans frequent proclamations of "We are greatest country in world." "Greatest democracy in history of world." and "We're Number One.". We should strive to achieve compassion as our nation's chief virtue, only then can we truly say we are greatest and number one.
Brian is a free-lance writer and political activist who currently lives in West Michigan.