Ice 9

I contributed a fairly significant amount of money to a charity drive that my company was having, after I’d determined that the charity was legit and non-religious. My company matched it dollar for dollar. I was tempted to put in a truly absurd amount to see what they’d do, but decided not to tempt fate.

The purpose was to allow parents to buy Christmas presents and other holiday-related items for kids (and families) in need.

I don’t write this to make myself look better, as I really couldn’t care less about that. But what started me thinking about it is the thank-you cards, and that lead to thoughts of private charity vs. government programs.

But first, it was really cool today seeing the cards from the families, in their own handwriting, that we received this morning. That really humanizes the gifts and their meaning. One of the notes said, “My husband and I cannot thank you enough for the wonderful gifts and making this Christmas so joyous and special for our first born and that it is his first Christmas.”

Things like that thaw even an icy old heart like mine. I wish I’d given more; next year.

But it also makes me realize that it is a travesty how rich we are as a society and how little our government does to assist those in need – in fact, how much it has done lately, at the behest of the rich, to purloin form the poor and to heave all that wealth over to the already-wealthy.

And of course wasting money to persecute those like Aaron Swartz, and to strip away Social Security benefits.

Private charity can never – and shouldn’t have to – replace that. As much as my heart was thawed by those cards offering obviously heartfelt thanks, my punching fist was also in full wanting-to-punch Hulk Smash mode as I thought of all those conservatives and banksters who are responsible for the suffering of these families.

Never have I felt such commingled amity and hatred as I did when reading those cards.

I don’t mind a bit giving something to help. I have more than I need.

I do very much mind that what these families need was literally stolen from them by predatory psychopaths who are getting more dominant over time.