Humanitarian Aid to U.S. Education

We got our World Vision gift catalog in the mail recently. Paging through the overwhelming list of giving opportunities (clean water, school tuition, clothes, food, etc. for poor people around the world), I was jarred to see an opportunity to provide school supplies for U.S. school children.

I’m not about to say anything new here, but we U.S. citizens seem a little too comfortable with this state of affairs, so I think it’s worth mentioning again: our nation easily spends billions of dollars on wars we never budgeted for, destroying people and property in other places, while cutting funding for educating our children, citing the deficit, the recession, hard times, whatever.

In an interview with Michael Moore for his documentary Sicko, former British cabinet minister Tony Benn said that his government, coming out of World War II, decided that if they could afford to kill people, they could afford to help them, and subsequently built a nationalized health care system (or “nationalised” as they would spell it).

I’m all for nationalized health care here too. But I’d also love to see proper funding of our schools. And to do that, I’m thinking we should stop funding these despicable wars. But I realized recently that the world powers (including our own nation) really don’t want world peace. Peace would mean that everyone would have enough, that no one would hold too much control. Peace for the poor among us would be a great gain. But peace for the wealthy and powerful would be a painful loss.

So, let’s just talk about world peace, especially at this time of year, and let’s feel good about giving to causes that our government lets fall by the wayside. We get the warm fuzzies, and they can keep blasting people in other places.

One problem, though – our government is supposed to be “of the people, by the people, for the people.” Why do we speak of it as “them”?

(I realize this post is raw and far from highly reasoned. We can hash things out in comments if you’d like. Let’s have a conversation!)

9 Comments

  1. One problem, though – our government is supposed to be “of the people, by the people, for the people.” Why do we speak of it as “them”?

    Because the socialist Democrats in power are subverting and ignoring the will of the majority of us.

    Socialized medicine is far inferior to our medical system in every country – Michael Moore is a liar who’s movie was banned in Cuba because he lied about the condition of the Cuban medical system.

    My daughter, Jenni has been sponsoring a child with World Vision since she’s been in high school – we have her picture on our refrigerator – who knows what will happen to her and other children like her? Makes you very thankful that God created us in our circumstances, but I wonder about and feel sorry for those born in horrendous circumstances.

    I am certainly no better, nor more deserving than anyone to live in America. . .

    • Kelly-

      The US government IS supposed to be “of the people, by the people, for the people.” but unfortunately that isn’t the way it is working at present. Take for example your claim about Michael Moore being banned in Cuba- this is what the US gov’t would have you believe, but it appears that they, not Mr. Moore are the liar here: http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mike-friends-blog/viva-wikileaks

      • Wow, thanks for this 18again, I should have known about this because I do visit Moore’s blog weekly, but I hadn’t seen this! Again, Moore’s documentaries are meant to entertain but also inform.

        How about “Fahrenheit 911?” If anyone hasn’t seen it, it is an utterly damning treatment of the Bush Administration…and it has never really been answered, it can’t be because Moore had his facts straight. The Bush/Saudi link is very disturbing. Anyone interested in understanding the Bush family’s dealings with foreign govts (especially the Saudis) should read Kevin Phillips book, “American Dynasty.” http://www.amazon.com/American-Dynasty-Aristocracy-Fortune-Politics/dp/0670032646 This book is far more disturbing than F911 because of the depth of research. The Bush’s, despite the born-again stuff and “Everyman” posturing are not nice people at all. Phillips explains the way the Bush and Walker families rose to political power (he goes back I think 4 generations) and how their primary interest was in espionage, foreign policy etc. Phillips is no hack either, he is a former republican official from the Nixon administration as is regarded as a serious writer. I have the book if anyone wants a loan. Sorry Julia, I’m rambling on your blog again!
        Nnox

  2. Tony Benn’s comments in the movies “extras” was by far my favorite part of “Sicko.” There is much to recommend in Sicko, I do think Moore’s choice in using Cuba to demonstrate the problems of US health care was weak. Is, Michael Moore a “liar” as Kelly thinks? Not at all, he is a film-maker with a strongly leftist point of view, he is also an entertainer, his documentaries, unlike conventional documentaries, make him, the documentor, the star of the movie. I recommend the book “Citizen Moore,” http://www.amazon.com/Citizen-Moore-Times-American-Iconoclast/dp/1571431632 if you wish to get a fair look at the man. The bio does not overlook Moore’s faults, it is a fair bio in my opinion.

    That said, Moore has used his talents to shine a bright light on some of the grossest inequities and abuses of power occurring in our country. I love the guy.

    Kelly states: “Socialized medicine is far inferior to our medical system in every country – ” Well, there are many in “socialized” countries that might debate that, I’m thinking the Scandinavian countries, G.B, and certainly France, also Canada. The US is a world leader in medical research, true, but in the US access to health care depends entirely on class, ie wealth and power. We may have, as Kelly says, the best health care available, unfortunately it is only available to some.

    To me, the debate must start with philosophy. Our country must decide whether or not we regard access to health care a basic human right. If not, stay with what we’ve got, where the poor are sick and the wealthy healthy. If, on the other hand, health care is a basic human right, then it must be made available for all, and the best (only) way to do this is with a nationalized system.

    Tony Benn describes how the British system came into being after the war. He informs us that the govt had to take over health care, because the existing private health care was completely overwhelmed by the war’s casualties. This is not the situation the US finds itself in. If we would, as a nation, commit to the belief that health care is a basic human right, we would create a nationalized system unique to the US. It wouldn’t be Canada’s system, or G.B’s, or anyone else’s.

    Julia, your “raw” and “not highly reasoned” post is just fine, you have simply stated your philosophies and ask us to respond. I agree completely with you that the war industry, the “military industrial complex” that Eisenhower warned us was ascending, is now an extremely powerful reality. The war industry needs wars to continue itself, to make money. I’ll give you another book that deals with war before the “military industrial complex:” “The Politics of War” by Walter Karp. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Karp This book argues well that war is used not only for profit and expansion, but simply to give the American people a diversion while the powerful gut domestic needs here at home. Crap, the babies crying, good thing, I’m starting to ramble!
    Nnox

    • I agree- The extended interview of Tony Benn was the best part of the movie!

      He was like an evangelist- had me (almost) shouting “Amen” several times!

  3. Dear Julia,
    Thank you for your interest. Educated, free-thinking people are not easily ruled. We can not have that. What we need is people that are just smart enough to sell a television set, and just dumb enough to buy one. Also, wars make a lot of money for our banking friends, but not quite enough. That is why we manufacture “crises” so that we can send our friends even more money. In return for all of this we allow the people to believe that they actually have a say in all of this.

    Love,
    Government

  4. Thanks for your discussion, everyone! I think Keith’s letter from the government is a perfect answer to my rhetorical question above (why we speak of government as “them” rather than “us”).

    I’ve been thinking about this often lately with Wikileaks in the news so much. Here we have piles of information about our government’s corrupt deeds available to the general public. But it hardly matters. The general public is too busy keeping up our personal lives and sadly, we mostly lack the interest and intelligence to spend time sifting through such documents. I speak as one of us, I assure you.

    Actually, I think I am one of those members of the general public who has raised my awareness but also my level of cynicism, and it’s all too easy to sit here in this coffeeshop blogging out my thoughts than to come up with any meaningful course of action. I do admire activists. But I also know that worthwhile activism springs from thoughtful reflection and conversation on the issues of the day, seen in a well-studied context of human history.

    So back to education. That would be such a good place to start in bringing up thoughtful citizens. I know, how can we trust the government to educate us adequately to keep it in check? By *being* the government, doggone it! Run for school board, be an informed and involved parent . . . start local.

    Or somethin’ – that’s about the extent of my interest and intelligence at the moment. I wonder what’s on TV?

  5. “Put not your trust in princes, in sons of men, in whom there is no salvation.” Ps. 146:3

    “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Romans 12:8

    That, in a nutshell, is my plan.

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