Madness...The road I'm traveling this morning really isn't about basketball and the insanity that will swirl around it the next few weeks. Instead, I feel compelled to write about a few of the other examples of the "madness" that seems to be closing in on us--one day at a time!
Madness in Japan...
The surreal pictures from the tragedy in Japan are completely numbing. When I first saw them last Friday morning, I thought it was a promo for some new sci-fi movie--one loaded with all the special effects--that was due to open. How stunning to witness complete towns and surrounding farms wash totally away in seconds! The trucks, cars, boats, trains, and buildings appeared as toys or miniature models. And now, a few days and several after-shocks later, the added crisis is the deterioration of nuclear power plants. And the news reports this morning told of thousands of bodies washing ashore. Yes, this MUST be science fiction! Or could it be a higher presence is saying something? This is certainly something which tries one's faith.
Madness...Teachers under attack
On another bend in the road, there's the ever-growing attack on teacher pensions. Illinois is in terrible shape and has dug a hole which getting out of seems impossible. The present hue and cry that teacher pension benefits are excessively high is pure myth! Here is an interesting FACT: "The benefits have been studied repeatedly by outside consultants and found to be average and in the mainstream nationally. Moreover, the lion’s share of the cost is currently paid by the employees, not the state. Teacher contributions currently are among the highest in the nation at 9.4 percent. The real problem is the debt, not benefit levels." (Department of Government Relations)
Add in the state's failure to live up to its obligations for its part of the funding, and one can see why this "hole" is growing ever deeper. Cutting benefits will not solve the problem!
Beyond the Madness?
This beautiful mid-March morning, full of sunshine and blue skies, seems so distant from the "madness" that is eating away at us. Can we somehow stave off this illness? Once again, how strong is our faith? Once there was a time when we could rely on the good faith and intentions of others. Now, though, there appears to be an "everyone-for-himself" attitude. I fear that it's going to be a long, sad, and bumpy ride over this particular road, and I suppose we will have to work extremely hard to find answers as we move ahead on this road.
So, we travel on...MLA