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Videos: "Car Kids" & Rigid Reform Ideologies

Here are two "60 Minutes" segments to consider watching.  The first is a followup on poor families in Seminole County, Florida, where people are now being forced out of shelters and motels and into their cars.  Child poverty is approaching 25 percent, and schools are reporting more and more kids living in cars as the recession goes longer.

The second is a chilling profile of Grover Norquist, the conservative kingmaker who has gotten scads of Republican lawmakers to sign a "no new taxes" pledge - or else:

 

Of course, conservative Republicanism isn't the only orthodoxy being enforced in the American political system.  Labor is another.  Some would argue that the current school reform agenda is already rigid and narrow, though it operates at a much smaller scale.  (Ask yourself:  when's the last time you heard reformers disagreeing with each other?)  Each has a rigid set of ideas it holds dear and each is playing hardball with those who would dare engage in honest debate or hold a difference of opinion. 

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"Labor" is another "orthodoxy forced on the American system"?

Which orthodoxy is that? OSHA? Overtime if you have to work beyond 40 hours per week? Child labor laws? The right to bargain with your employer for a living wage? Alas, such orthodoxies have been broken, and we actual workers stand, outcast and starving, midst the wonders we have made.

My uncles would go north, from our right-to-work state, and earn living wages in union trade jobs. LT kept his pipe-fitters union membership up, even after he returned home, because he valued and respected it so much. When the Disneyland workers bargained in California for union contracts to build Disney World, they lifted his family out of deep poverty.

But now, the unions are broken and my skilled mechanic and tradesman cousins have no work anywhere. Their babies are going hungry. Whose orthodoxy is that?

Did some working person, making a living wage, shoot your dog, or something?

Unlit candles are hidden in the hearts of these children in the dark. We have to realize that these kids who live in trucks, under cars, and along gutters know the true value of life, even at a young age. We only see the faces of poverty; we do not bother to stare at the rear view. Sometimes I ask myself why these kids are dying to live if they are just living to die. Let's keep the torch lifted for these unfortunate souls.

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