Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Children of the Mountains

Watched a special on 20/20 last night. The people of Appalachia have been neglected since Bobby Kennedy was killed. He was a champion of helping them and there has been no coordinated effort since. They have been preyed and prayed upon. They are afflicted with Mountain Dew mouth. Even babies drink it and it is one of the reasons the adults have no teeth. Doctors in the area have been encouraged by Pharmaceutical Companies to prescribe addictive narcotic pain relievers for everything. Leading to a huge prescription drug addiction problem. Coal mining is the best paying job. But even if the company looks out for basic worker safety, there is the issue of black lung. These people off the beaten path live short miserable lives. They are only encouraged by their faith in salvation. Isn't this what gives all downtrodden some hope, but little everyday help. Schools are so poor that even if you manage to graduate from High School (and few do), you are going to have trouble with college. Look at the faces of the children and you see that they could be anyone's children. Look at the faces of the adults and you see the effects of poor nutrition, poor schooling and drugs. We need a new war on poverty to save the children.

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