“What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Since the actions noted in the chart BELOW resulted in the loss of life in the thousands, the destruction of homes, towns and cities where men, women and children lived – surely there must be protests over these US actions – surely there must be celebrity and social justice warrior outcries, along with breathless reporting from main stream media over the loss of (mostly) innocent human life…
This is the sound of protests and main stream media reporting we’ve been able to dig up on the loss of life from the above noted actions.
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.” – President Dwight D. Eisenhower
…and more on the “non-protested” agonies that our fellow humans suffer:
From a piece penned by Ms. Cynthia McKinney, former US House of Representative:
It is hard to estimate the number of homeless people in the US, but one indicator is the number of school children who do not have an address. According to the Child Trends Databank, at the start of the 2013 – 2014 academic year, there were approximately 1.4 million children in the United States who reported to school and did not have an address to give to school authorities.
If you’ve ever been homeless, or close to it (as one of us here at the Asylum was many years ago) or if you even take a casual glance at the homeless in your downtown neighborhoods, you know very well whatever is currently being done to help the homeless, to assist your fellow human beings who have lost their way, are out of luck, or are having mental health issues, it isn’t doing much of anything to solve the problem.
More from Ms. McKinney:
It’s hard to imagine that the country that controls so much nuclear firepower and that drops so many bombs on Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistan every day including today is increasingly unwilling to educate its children and house its citizens. While China has lifted 400 million of its people from dire poverty, the US seems on the path to consigning such a fate for its citizens.
And still, the sound of crickets from celebrities, pissed-off malcontents and media outlets.
Many years ago, the US cared more about its citizens who suffered from mental illness. There were many more hospitals and institutions in cities across the country that provided the basics for the mentally ill, until the government, basically, gave up on them:
Jack R. Ewalt, who directed the staff of the Joint Commission when it was founded in 1955, says now that he remains ”a great believer in the use of drugs, but they are just another treatment, not a magic.”
”Drugs can help people get back to the community,” he said, ”but they have to have medical care, a place to live and someone to relate to. They can’t just float around aimlessly.”
Dr. Ewalt said the 1963 act was supposed to have the states continue to take care of the mentally ill but that many states simply gave up and ceded most of their responsibility to the Federal Government.
”The result was like proposing a plan to build a new airplane and ending up only with a wing and a tail,” Dr. Ewalt said. ”Congress and the state governments didn’t buy the whole program of centers, plus adequate staffing, plus long-term financial supports.”
“A place to live and someone to relate to”…in very short supply today.
Our government has more than $50 MIllION a day, yes that’s $50 MILLION A DAY to give to NASA to fund whatever fantasies they have outside the real world we live in. This is just ONE government agency. Our government can’t take care of those who desperately need its’ help, as any government should do to help its’ homeless and mentally ill citizens, yet our government can throw $50 million a day toward space fantasies. Some messed up priorities.
How to Fix a Broken Mental-Health System by Norm Ornstein – The Atlantic
“…In a larger sense, the roots of the current problems go back more than 50 years. One of the signature achievements of the John F. Kennedy administration was the Community Mental Health Act of 1963. Spurred by a broad and visceral reaction to the horrific conditions of those with serious mental illnesses warehoused in state mental hospitals, the president and Congress embraced a major reform: Release the patients and get them into community health centers, where they could get humane treatment and in most cases be able to live in their communities, with their families or on their own. The idea was to create a win-win—help people and save money by creating more efficient and cost-effective facilities.
The impulse was commendable, the policy was balanced and reasonable—and the act was a spectacular failure. Why? The law was built around a two-step process—release and catch, as it were. De-institutionalize the mentally ill in these deplorable institutions, and then get them into the system of community health centers. But there was no step two. More than half of the proposed community health centers were never built. Many states were delighted to close the cash-draining state mental hospitals, and pocket the savings without replacing them with community health centers. Those that were in operation were never fully funded. Inadequate treatment capacity and an over-emphasis on those less severely ill remain the case today. Indeed it has gotten worse in some respects. As the Associated Press’ Michelle Smith pointed out in 2013, on the 50th anniversary of the Act, 90 percent of beds in state hospitals have been eliminated, leaving only the streets, jails, or prisons for those with serious mental illness. Twenty percent of the beds have been eliminated in just the last five years.
Just our take – as one who also has had a loved one caught up in the mental health merry-go-round in the United States – seems that before taking the “brave” step of throwing a brick through a store-front window of a business to show your displeasure over the election of a president and one’s perceived fear of what he might or might not do…perhaps the better thing to do is something constructive to help those in need right now. Wishful thinking on our part as it seems many Americans are more content to listen to the vulgar rantings of washed-up, bitter celebrities throwing up obscenities that they condemn others for, along with main stream media’s silence of real problems facing our fellow citizens. Much easier to scream, cry and rant over the fear of what might happen and to do violence over future atrocities that seem to be dreamed up from a state of frenzied thinking. Easier to listen to hyped up reasons for war with other nations rather than confront real problems and assist those of our fellow countrymen who are in need of help now.
“Human beings suffer agonies, and their sad fates become legends; poets write verses about them and playwrights compose dramas, and the remembrance of past grief becomes a source of present pleasure – such is the strange alchemy of the spirit.”
― Upton Sinclair, Dragon’s Teeth
Photo cover (front page): By Anonymus-ng (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Photo credit: By Matthew Woitunski (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons