Thursday, February 04, 2010


A Republican Governor has likened the distribution of food stamps to "feeding stray animals." According to reports, he said that feeding stray animals is useless, because they just come back for more, and then start breeding, multiplying themselves until you have many more strays to feed.

It would be difficult to sell this idea to the many Americans receiving food stamps. Most of them have lost their jobs and have worn their shoes down to the flesh applying for employment in the few places advertising for help. In most cases, they are joined in filling out applications by hundreds of other job seekers. In most cases, the food stamps are the only way they can feed their families in this crisis that has struck Americans in the past few years.

The ironic thing is that most people blame the Republican Administration of George Bush for the aforementioned crisis. President Bush may not have caused all of the problems, but he certainly did little or nothing to halt them. In fact, he spent our money....not on efforts to put people back to work...but on the War in Iraq, which the British people are still investigating. Not so here in the United States, we do not spend our time with lengthy investigations on the reasons for fighting that war, because most of us know the answers. We simply sit in our jobless state, hope for the best, and pray for a better tomorrow.

At one time in my young life, my parents went on what was called an Old Age Pension. They applied for money to help them out, these elderly folks who had worked in the fields all of their lives and had finally reached a point where even a healthy crop of corn would not sustain them throughout the year. Proud, independent, worthwhile people, they did not want to live off the money given them by their children, simply because their children were themselves poor and had very little to give.

So, the Old Age Pension arrived each month in the mail and it was a godsend to them, as they hacked away at the ice on the creek, in order to get water to use. The pump would freeze solid, the creek was the only source of water, and once that ice hole was chopped, they would carry bucket after bucket of water to the house to use for cooking and laundry.

Each month, the social worker would arrive to ask questions and ascertain that my parents deserved the pittance they were given. She not only visited my parents with questions, but arrived at the homes of my brothers and sisters, peeking in corners, checking on the status of living styles, making sure that no child could afford to support the parents.

This well-dressed, coiffed and well-groomed lady arrived in a shiny big Buick. As a child, I really enjoyed her arrival, so I could admire the gleaming finish of that car. To me, it was the epitome of luxury, with its padded interior and gleaming accessories. I dreamed of growing up to ride in such a vehicle and dress in woolen suits and linen blouses like the social worker.

This lady would often corner me as I sat outside admiring her car. "Is Hilda working?" she'd query. "Does anyone eat out every night?" She asked me questions I could not answer, but she managed to scare the me to death, because her eyes were like piercing bullets and her accusatory expression made me feel as though the wrong answer might land me in Leavenworth for a lengthy stay.

"Better watch your mouth," my mother admonished me, "or we'll all be starving to death!"

This placed a double burden on my shoulders, to a point where I hid when the lady arrived. Eventually, the summer came, the corn blossomed, the garden gave its harvest and the Old Age Pension became a part of the past. The stray cats had found a meager supply of their own food and were able to say farewell to the lady in the Buick, the fat cat who could ride in splendor on the tax money everyone paid.

Frankly, I resent any person who treats another human being like a piece of worthless driftwood. Comparing poor folks to abandoned animals has got to be a remark that paves the way to Hell. In the first place, the pitiful plight of stray animals is hard enough to bear. My area has a plentiful supply, frightened creatures who run away at the slightest noise and live a life of hunger and fear. I feed those stray cats. I don't care if they come back or multiply, they are God's creatures and deserve more than life has handed out. I figure that each time I feed a stray cat, I have saved the life of a bird.

Walk in the shoes of a jobless man! Walk in the shoes of a hungry child! Imagine yourself hopelessly trying to survive, with no resources to help you. Imagine yourself as Jesus commanded, helping to keep your brother!

A Republican friend of mine said, "Oh, all this means you are in favor of Big Government!"

I'm not in favor of big government. I'm not in favor of little government. I am in favor a government that works, a government that knows that poor people are not stray animals, unworthy of help. What I am saying is government should be...let me try to get it straight...OF the people, FOR the people, and BY the people! Could anything be clearer than that?