The Loss of a Good Man

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Bfgrn, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. Bfgrn
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    Bfgrn Gold Member

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    Here is a nice op-ed on Sargent Shriver by the NY Times Bob Herbert

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    R. Sargent Shriver, one of America’s great good men, died this week at the age of 95. He was best known as the brother-in-law of John F. Kennedy. Married for 56 years to Kennedy’s sister, Eunice, who died in 2009, he was also the father of Maria Shriver, the former television personality who is married to Arnold Schwarzenegger. That Mr. Shriver was not better known for his own extraordinary accomplishments, and for his rock-solid commitment to the ideals that this nation ought to stand for, is not just unfortunate, but discouraging.

    He was the founding director of the Peace Corps, the signature success of Kennedy’s New Frontier. He founded Head Start, created the Job Corps and Legal Services for the Poor, and gave us Volunteers in Service to America, which was the domestic version of the Peace Corps. He served as president and chairman of the Special Olympics, which was founded by Eunice Shriver. Indefatigable and unrepentantly idealistic, Mr. Shriver may have directly affected more people in a positive way than any American since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

    He was the flip side of the cruelty and ugliness that has come to dominate so much of American public life. The U.S. has once again fallen into the hands of the forces who, rather than trying to help, would relieve the middle class and the poor of every last shred of economic security. Not only have millions been thrown out of work, but the squeeze is on to prevent them from getting the safety net assistance that might cushion the awful blow of joblessness.

    Public services are being dismantled throughout the republic in the name of austerity — school systems, libraries, police forces, transportation services, and so on. Any talk of raising taxes on the rich is verboten. Shared sacrifice? Not if you’re wealthy.

    Sargent Shriver had a different view of America — warmer, richer and more humane. A young Bill Moyers, who joined Mr. Shriver at the Peace Corps and eventually became its deputy director, said a crucial component of the corps was Mr. Shriver’s deep commitment to the idea of America “as a social enterprise ... of caring and cooperative people.”

    Here’s an example: In 1964, as leader of the Office of Economic Opportunity in the Johnson administration, Mr. Shriver came across studies that showed connections between poor nutrition, lower I.Q. scores and arrested social and emotional development. He wondered whether early childhood intervention “could have a beneficial effect on the children of poor people.” Head Start followed in incredibly short order.

    Mr. Shriver was the point man, the driving force of Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty. Between 1964 and 1968, nearly one of every three poor Americans left the poverty rolls, the largest drop in a four-year period ever recorded. Mr. Shriver’s idealism was not of the dreamy sort. It was geared toward concrete results.

    Whole article
     
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  2. California Girl
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    California Girl BANNED

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    Does this require a third thread? No

    Is it 'politics'? No

    Is Bfgrn stupid? Yup.
     
  3. rightwinger
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    rightwinger Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    The Board Nazi has spoken...

    No Thread for You!

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    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011

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