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A snapshot of two Americas

October 17, 2013

Sometimes we are stuck with whatever a particular media outlet wants us to see and hear, but occasionally, however inadvertently, those electronic images paint a stark picture of a moment in time.

During the recent debt and spending showdown, two moments painted a disturbing picture of our two Americas.

Oct 12, 2013.  A temporary glitch removed spending limits from government-issued EBT cards, and Walmart shoppers in Springhill and Mansfield, Louisiana took full advantage of the situation, emptying store shelves until an announcement was made that the cards were once again showing spending limits, at which point they simply abandoned carts full of merchandise on the store floors. These people knew exactly what their remaining credit balances were, but what the heck, why not get it if it’s free, right?

Meanwhile, Walmart executives ordered store employees to stand back and allow the situation to continue, possibly fearing a riot if they shut down the cash registers until the system came back on line.

October 13, 2013. Veterans and veterans groups removed the barricades at the WWII memorial, stacking them as neatly as possible and then going on in to visit the memorial created to honor both the living veterans, and the dead who gave everything for their country.  No veterans spray painted the granite displays, hit any park workers, or defecated on the sidewalk, they just went in and visited their memorial. Many will not live to see it in person again, because WWII and Korean War vets are well into their eighties and nineties.

At least for me, these two events paint a far truer picture of where America stands today than all the millions of words and thousands of hours of coverage of the politicians on Capital Hill. Some are takers, some are givers, and too many are simply bystanders. It will be interesting to see which group comes out on top. 

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