The following is the edited text of an email I sent to Ann Fisher on the "All Sides" radio program at WOSU-AM, FM, Columbus, Ohio, on August 10, 2011:
To my mind today's segment typifies how Columbus/Ohio/American social service, law enforcement, and education services need to coordinate their efforts BUT DON'T. If you can correlate how a mother interacts with her 18-month-old with the likelihood of that child dropping out of school and job training, then you need to begin intervention right then and there. Do NOT wait 14.5 years to bemoan the outcome that the kid is hanging out on the corner at East Whittier Street and South Champion Avenue in my neighborhood, learning the fine art of becoming a social predator and career criminal.
REALITY CHECK: WHY? Because I will shoot the little bastard when the teenage/adult creep crawls into my window to terrorize me in my own home!
Get that baby into a professional creche with qualified and dedicated personnel paid a living wage while you get his mother into job training to put her on notice that Section 8, food stamps, and Medicaid are NOT career choices. They are only a fallback to tide her over until she lands a REAL job. Then you move that child to a Head Start/day care program while Mom is at work. In addition, you run after-school enrichment programs to keep the child CONSTRUCTIVELY occupied, not hanging out on the corner in my neighborhood
You expressed a concern that not every kid is made to concentrate on science and math. That's OK. I hear tell that big bad Venezuela has developed a music program for poor kids that has garnered international acclaim. A certain symphony conductor alumnus of that program is supposed to hang out in Los Angeles, California, these days. He has some expertise at putting children to work learning to play musical instruments. Stop farting around and get him to help you do it!
IF you are willing to face the fact that Section 8, Medicaid, and food stamps were never intended to be career choices but are in fact being abused as career choices, then you need to get serious about telling that transfer payment employee on my taxpayer trillion (forget dime) that she is on my clock and needs to get her fanny to work like the rest of us.
IN ADDITION, children need real fathers, not "baby daddies". If he wants to be a "baby daddy", let him do it on his time and his dime, not mine. That means: Get serious about collecting some real child support from these bozos. Put some positive male role models into the children's lives to displace "baby daddy". You know what I mean: Men that wear their pants around their waists and not hanging from that peg in their crotches. Men whose resumes list their gainful legal employment, not their criminal RAP sheets.
Bill Cosby was right when he said that recipients should get their welfare checks ONLY when they can prove that their children have attended school all week and that the parent has been diligent at his/her job training program all week. Remember that Bill Cosby is a man who grew up in the slums of Philadelphia; survived enlisting in the Navy; went to university on the GI Bill and scholarships; has a PhD in education; and therefore has some idea of what he is talking about. Oh, and the man made some decent money doing side jobs in show business along the way.
But does anybody LISTEN? Hell no. The whole world came crashing down on him anyway -- except perhaps that cadre of truly adult fathers sick and tired of being taken for chumps by the deadbeats.
In conclusion, thank you, Ann. I feel much better now, having gotten that off my chest.
P.S. I know what it is like to live on Section 8, food stamps, and Aid to Familes with Dependent Children (AFDC). We HAD to resort to those things when my father deserted the family when I was 13 years old back in 1966. But my mother didn't run the streets. She ran her home; sent her children to school unless they were truly sick; and went to work as a part-time cafeteria lady in the public schools to earn enough money to pay to move her children to Chicago. Once there, she found work in her old home town and never looked back. By the way, my father was a GS-10 federal civil servant that didn't pay his child support and got away with it because the system was just as full of loopholes then as it is now.
Help me, Jesus. I don't need to watch some stupid movie Idiocracy. I'm LIVING in an idiocracy!