Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Don't Blame the Jury....

To tell you the truth, I really don't know if the gutting of social programs is a good thing or a bad thing because I have worked in the system and perhaps it is the only way to save a lot of my friends from a padded cell.
Back when good old boy Reagan emptied the metal health hospitals and gutted whatever monies were available in the name of Trickle Down, I was in the middle of my career. One of my legitimate patients brought a young man in to see if he could get some help. With counseling and proper medication, he probably would have grown into a fine young man. As it was, I found myself yelling at the person on the other end of the phone: "Do I have to see him on serial killer of the week to get help for him?"
After she suggested I not get "snippy", we got down to what my options were.
There were two.
1. His parents would have to have enough money to afford private counseling for him. Since his mother started most days telling him if abortion had been legal he wouldn't be there, I doubted there would be help forthcoming even if there was that money in the trailer park.
2. I could wait for him to commit a crime, get sent to Juvie and have the older boys teach him better ways to do what he did best and how not to get caught.
I soon found that 99% of the time those were my options. As long as the damage inflicted on a child didn't leave multiple broken bones that could be traced directly back to a specific adult, your hands were tied. Feeding children spoiled milk, cat food and frozen imitation fruit flavored water as a diet was not a crime. As long as the child arrived in school one day out of 30 there was nothing you could do. There is no rule that says a child ever has to see a doctor or a dentist (particularly a dentist) except for a physical and shots. Most parents just forged any doctor's signature on the physical and got the shots in a  line a 100 or more long at public health where no one looks past the arm they are sticking a needle into.
Now that unemployment is on the rise the new homeless are families, my friends tell me it is not unusual to find a grandmother or great grandmother 60 to 90 taking care of 10 or more children and trying to feed them on her social security check. With assistance to the elderly being cut, there is very little food available for grandmother.
And people all over the country have asked today about the infamous not guilty verdict and how did it happen. Gee, I think I just answered your question. Except for a few dedicated (believe me, they are really few in number) people, who are mostly women, no one cares what happens to a kid after it is born. It becomes the parent's business or is rather fostered off on parents ignorant or just plain uncaring. You can gather more people to picket an abortion clinic than to picket for the children killed each year by their parents. What a sad commentary on  this country. The anti abortion forces gather more money each year  to picket and lobby (bribe) fat cat politicians than child advocacy groups even have available to spend on children much let alone lobby by a staggering amount. The really sad thing is it used to make me sick at my stomach. Now, I just don't care. It's what you want. Enjoy but don't blame a jury of her peers. They are only reflecting what you as a society have created as your priorities. First the unborn mass of cells is most important and then, well, heck, until they kill or main one of you...the heck with them.

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