Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tell It All Brother

In Bay City, Michigan, Marvin E. Schur, a 93 year old widowed war veteran froze to death in his house because an unregulated power utility company sent a worker to put a filter on the man's power meter that cut off his heat if he used too much power. When he was discovered, he was wearing four layers of clothes and had icicles hanging off the blankets. The city expressed its dismay and regret, then raised the electric rates 3%.

In New York City, Bernie Madoff who stole the retirements of hundreds of investors is living luxuriously under house arrest. At CitiBank, they are having to explain how they could buy a luxury jet while being bailed out with our retirement money while giving out millions in bonus checks to the very crooks who can't explain where the bailout money is going. Nancy Pelosi stands on camera and blames George Bush but it is Obama's problem now and no one is stepping up.

Is this what we are? Did we get so mad at the crooks that we forgot to look in on the old man next door? Are we so numb and so protective of our jobs that we will hang a note on a door of this man instead of pounding on it until we find out who we are condemming to a slow painful death in the freezing winter?

Is this America?

No bloody wonder the world hates us. I can't get my head around it and I don't want to. Years ago my first fiance and I were walking in the middle of a heat wave when an elderly lady called out to us from behind a screen door. When we opened it, we saw a double amputee from diabetes with a hot jug of water next to her. She wanted us to move her old floor fan closer to her wheelchair. We did that then we called the police. The young officer came and took information, and within the week, a local church came and put in a window unit air conditioner. The lady died a few months later but not from heat stroke.

In Los Angeles this week, a man capped his wife and family because having both lost their jobs, they couldn't envision going on. They lost hope.

Times are hard and getting harder. People are hurting. Others are getting away with their crimes and I can only hope God or karma tends to them. But today I and mine are ok and I can be thankful for that.

But I can't get my head around that old man freezing over an unpaid $1100 power bill.

Don't accept it. Don't. Don't let an old man who went to war and came home to raise his family and lose his wife die alone with an icicle as his last medal. If we want to get back on our feet, we will have to start caring again.

Tell it all, brother, before we fall.

1 comment:

Amber in Albuquerque said...

Heartwrenching. And, unfortunately, probably not an isolated event. Leaves one wondering how many people one fancy trash can (Merril CEO's office re-design) would save? I'd like someone to ask that CEO and all that Wall Street 'talent' who just received big bonuses at taxpayer expense "Besides your own whose utility or food bill have you paid this month?"

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