5.12.2008

Struggling Around The Globe



I'm not a big fan of news media. In fact, my line of work has made me even more critical of the major vessels that produce news. But I find myself following the news more closely these days, perhaps because of that disdain, and sometimes in spite of it.

I am sad.

Sad for the sums of people worldwide who have been victim to natural disasters like Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Tsunamis of the Indian Ocean, the various tornadoes that have made unexpected landfall on U.S. soil, the recent victims of the cyclone in Myanmar (aka Burma) and today the victims of the earthquake in China.

I remember when, in my childhood, the amalgamation of unimaginable events was a sign of the apocalypse for my infectiously Christian elder community. This was alo before the millennium, a time when no one was sure what life could look like once our calendars struck 2000 (and beyond).

Now nearly a decade into the millennium, tax dollars of United States citizens are supporting a war that most oppose, rather than domestic programs to help those who need it most in our own nation. We are also on the eve of seeing a Democratic nominee of a minority group (either a white woman or a black man), and we cautiously inch toward more sustainable practices.

As easy as it could be for me to block everything outside of this nation out, like most U.S. citizens do, and be blindly caught up in the outcomes of shows like "Dancing with the Stars," and the evermore inconsequential "American Idol," my eyes are turned outward. To the people worldwide hit hardest by the fall of the U.S. dollar, rising prices for oil (and thus gasoline), the hunger stricken in places like Haiti. I am aware but feel powerless.

I can barely support myself.

And then I get a little bit angry. I am angry because there is so much going on that sometimes I can't even settle in myself enough to pick something to blog about. I'm a little angry because I have the privilege to "blog" about what's going on in the world, and so many people are suffering through it. I get a little angry that I didn't pursue a more lucrative career, where at this point I would be climbing someone's (likely a straight white man's) ladder to prosperity, and would maybe have the ability to hedge those funds into a project to help others.

But I am ESPECIALLY angry at Senator Clinton at this moment. Perhaps unfairly.
I am angry because she can afford to lend her campaign $6.4 million in order to "remain competitive." I'm also annoyed and still wondering why some pundit hasn't jumped on that.

First of all, wouldn't being "competitive" suggest that her campaign was "raising money" like Senator Obama's campaign is. Unlike Senator Clinton, he doesn't have the privilege to drop some of his savings into his campaign. He's not only been able to out-spend, but also out-fundraise Senator Clinton's campaign. This race stopped being competitive a long time ago.

I call myself out for being a smidgen unfair, because the amount of money spent by either campaign to gain the hearts and minds of a large masses of uneducated voters is somewhat disgusting in the wake of so much misery. But I think Senator Clinton has just a bit more audacity.

I think that money could have gone to something more fruitful. She could have donated $6.4 million to humanitarian aid, or if not as a donation, hell, she could pay out of pocket the cost of the nonsensical "gas tax holiday" she was promoting.

But then again, I'm an idealist, bleeding heart, with a mind for social justice. If I had it my way, the world look a whole lot different, if even such a world is possible.

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