medieval in the sanctuary
Expanded from the 8-20-2006 Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune
Have you ever endured a moment so stressful that you wished you could call time out? Freeze-frame? Declare that this ain't happening? Cross your fingers and become invisible?
A rare few athletes are by legend possessed of a superpower by which they can slightly slow down reality in order to perform the most difficult task in sports: hitting a baseball.
Film makers have long used footage shot at high speed which provides the illusion of slow motion when run in real time. How many times have you heard someone who lived through a hypertense event recalling that they seemed to live it in slo-mo? We revel in the work of actors and athletes who can dodge blows, balls and bullets that would knock mere mortals flat.
These days, we mortals need all the help we can get.
Saturday's Tribune carried the stories of two little kids fighting for their lives.
Kurtis Ryne Lindsay, 2, will soon need a heart transplant. Without community support, the family could well have been homeless by now. "We've got great friends. If it weren't for them, I don't know where we would be," Shelli Lindsay told the Trib.
William Albiniano, 8, wants to be a fireman but may not survive to see his teens. His white blood cells are attacking his internal organs. His parents are now three house payments behind, using the money for the experimental medication their son requires.
As KRNV TV-4's Joe Hart reported last week, despite the family's finances, William was dropped from the Nevada Checkup insurance program for lower income kids.
I found dark humor in a recent Las Vegas Review-Journal puff piece about availability of the coverage: "Nevada parents whose children are uninsured shouldn't have to agonize over choosing between taking their child to the doctor or putting food on the table," the paper glowingly reported.
Alas, Nevada Checkup is proving to suffer from the same malady as any private insurer. They are primarily in the business of denying claims. Call it Hurricane Katrina Syndrome.
Two other Nevada children have already seen their youth cut in twain.
"Lance Corporal Jeremy Z. Long, USMC, will be laid to rest at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 21, at Mountain View Cemetery," former Tribune columnist Susan Severt wrote last week.
"If possible, please attend. The family has expressed their feelings to share this solemn passing. The community of Sun Valley supported this young Marine during his deployment by participating in the collection of items for monthly care packages. Now is the time to say goodbye and show support for this brokenhearted family," Severt stated.
Last week down south, Army Spc. Ignacio "Nacho" Ramirez was buried with full military honors at Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City. He was 22. Long was just 18.
Canadian writer Bill Metcalfe recently noted that today "there is no draft to dodge, other than the economic draft. That's a term often used to describe poor and working class men joining the military because of promises of otherwise scarce jobs and otherwise unattainable educational opportunities."
One would think that our federal government, dripping with disciples of traditional family values, would be well on the way to fixing all of the above now that they've been in power for a decade.
The New York Times recently reported on an entire generation of men cut out of the American Dream: "Once, virtually all Americans had married by their mid-40s. Now, many American men without college degrees find themselves still single as they approach middle age."
Why? Lack of economic opportunity and, as I've been warning for years, the next Great Depression looming on the horizon.
Time out. Stop the world, I want to get off.
Which is exactly what a Chicago mother cried last week. Elvira Arellano, an illegal immigrant, invoked the medieval privilege of sanctuary as she sought refuge in her church to avoid being deported and thus abandoning her ailing seven year-old son who happens to be an American citizen.
Endless war. An economic draft. Wages in a race to the bottom. Artificial shortages inflating prices for everything from gasoline to health care. A middle class sinking out of sight without the hindsight to see who's to blame.
Don't blame Ms. Arellano or Cindy Sheehan.
Ask yourself who's big enough to keep the peons fighting each other for the crumbs of a cake somebody else ate.
Then organize and do something about it. Our dead and dying children are sending us a very clear message.
POLITICAL PENANCE. Sam Shad is making up for last week's blah lineup with the best Nevada Newsmakers series in quite awhile and not just because I'm scheduled to get in a few licks on Wednesday following U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. On Monday, Mr. Shad has booked Harvey Whittemore hisself as the Sparks City Council gets set to consider approving the Lazy 8 hotel-casino. On Tuesday, Shad will joust with Senator John "Vegas Hair" Ensign, R-Nev.
Nevada Newsmakers airs Monday through Thursday at 12:30 p.m. on KRNV TV-4 with same-day reruns at 9:30 p.m. on Washoe-Carson-Douglas Channel 12 for those afflicted with Charter cable. The complete rogue's gallery, statewide schedule (and much more mischief) will be linked to the web edition of this column.
Be well. Raise hell.
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Copyright © 1982, 2006 Andrew Barbano
Andrew Barbano is a 37-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and webmaster of JoeNeal.org. His opinions are strictly his own, as always. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune since 1988.
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