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Many Are In Want of Common Necessaries: We Are Two Nations, But We Do Not Have To Be

by Abby Zimet

From Charles Pierce, eloquent ruminations on a season intended to be "a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time (when) men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys"; on a do-nothing, food-stamp-depriving Congress going home "so soaked in electorally convenient religiosity that its members believe (that) other people and their children will be strengthened in their moral character by completely avoidable deprivation"; on "hundreds of thousands of children (who) will watch commercials (of) shiny and happy people at the shiny and happy malls and wonder what place it is in which these things happen, and how it could be that they one day could get there"; on John Dos Passos' sorrowful acknowledgement, "All right then we are two nations," and how we do not have to be.

"At this festive season of the year, Mr Scrooge," said the gentleman, "it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir." - A Christmas Carol.