October 19, 2009

Madison newspaper rips Racine on infant mortality rate

Isthmus, Madison's alternative weekly newspaper, reports this week on Wisconsin's abysmal infant mortality rate and singles Racine out for its shortcomings in helping African-American babies.

While the facts reported in the story are true - Racine does have the highest infant mortality rate among African-Americans in the state, and the rate is higher than some Third World countries - the article fails to report positive steps the city is taking to help mothers and babies. Instead, it knocks down Racine to make Madison look better.

The article by Mary Ellen Bell highlights efforts Madison has taken since 2001 to reduce its infant mortality rate 67 percent, a remarkable decline, to be sure. To amplify this success, Bell interviews former Racine resident Ta-Shai Pendleton, who lost two babies while living here. After moving to Madison, the 21-year-old had a healthy baby. Here's an excerpt from the article:
Pendleton's experiences suggest that public health and family support services are far better in Dane County.

In Racine, Pendleton says she never got a visit from a home health nurse and had no access to childbirth or parenting classes. In Madison, a public health nurse visited and phoned regularly throughout her pregnancy.

"My nurse is teaching me a lot," Pendleton told Isthmus before Za-Niah was born. "I'm doing things differently because I'm a lot more educated now. I watch movies about babies with the home nurse. I go to birthing classes. And the nurse calls me to check that I'm doing everything I'm supposed to be doing, like taking my prenatal vitamins and getting enough rest."

Left out of the story is Racine's recent efforts to take the exact same steps Madison took eight years ago to reduce infant mortality. The city's Healthy Births, Healthy Outcomes program is up and running with two registered nurses helping at-risk mothers. Racine is also looking to hire a coordinator for the program in the next few months. It's a program similar to one started in Madison eight years ago.

But instead of even hinting at Racine's efforts to reduce its infant mortality rate, the article rips the city for its "terrible" neighborhoods and suggests doctors here "don't listen." I'm no apologist; there are bad neighborhoods in Racine and no doubt some doctors don't listen. But high infant mortality rates are pretty simple. Poverty increases the risk of babies dying. Racine is one of the poorest cities in the state; Madison is one of the richest. Is there any real "medical mystery tour" here?

It's hard to fault Bell for writing a pro-Madison article for a Madison newspaper. But it would have been a more complete story to include Racine's efforts to save its babies, instead of simply using our community to make Madison look better.

138 comments:

  1. Thank God we live in a city that rather have gas stations then Farmer's Markets. After all seams to me if there Black or Hispanic who cares.

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  2. Along with being a poor city, Racine is saddled with a billionaire corporate crime family whose members and minions blow fortunes on modern art while spending relatively little on disadvantaged people. Our atrocious minority infant mortality rate is no accident.

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  3. Sooner than I care to think, an arrogant clan of cash-cadgers will dedicate a fifty-eight million dollar shrine for a seaplane. If the wicked Waxies had spent one tenth of that figure on practical help for the poor, Racine's minority infant mortality rate wouldn't be the disgrace of the Midwest.

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  4. Dear Anonymous at 4:56,

    We live in a city that would rather have a gas station than a farmers' market.

    After all, it seems to me that if they are Black or Hispanic, who cares?

    Could you please tell me what these two sentences have to do with each other? Also, please use spell check before you submit anything else.

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  5. There's too much art and not enough heart in this sad city. And we all know which "scam-ily" likes it that way. The sooner the people's government seizes the Waxstash and uses it to help the most vulnerable people among us, the better!

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  6. I still think we could do work on the teen pregnancy rate -- and not for just a small part of the population. It should be for everybody. She's 21 and pregnant for the third time? They call her to remind her to take her prenatal vitamins? To make sure she's doing what she's supposed to? She going to be a mother!

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  7. Memo to The House of Wax: All the art and architecture on the planet is worthless compared to one decent deed. The rich who fly high while poor babies die will be taxed down to size sooner than they care to think. The present unjust socio-economic system is unsustainable. Enjoy Versailles while you may--change is in the air and I don't mean the pennies you toss at the peasantry.

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  8. Uh, Madison IS better than Racine. Pretty obvious.

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  9. Anonymous 5:24

    Long live communism, hey?

    What right do you have to spend other people's money?

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  10. NEWSFLASH: If the Johnsons didn't live here and Johnson Wax closed up shop, guess what? The infant mortality rate in Racine would be even worse than it is now. Try to figure that one out, lefty socialists.
    Holly

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  11. Why should I work? I'll stop working and enjoy the fruits of others' labor. But what if they want to do the same? Where is everything coming from now? Socialism creates a much more devisive society than capitalism could ever generate.

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  12. It's amazing to observe how every news article, positive or negative, almost always denigrade into a free for all, anti-Johnson, Wax-bashing issue. I have no doubt in my mind that if any of these ill-informed, venom-spitting, needlessly ferocious critics really knew how much of Johnson family wealth QUIETLY goes into everything Racine, to improve the quality of life in the city, to stop the vicious cycle of poverty by spending their own money on children's education, increasing high school graduation rate of low-income youth, college scholarship, etc, they would be heartbroken to hear anyone speak ill of them.

    Is that the same family that gives millions of dollars, not only here at home but also in countries all over the world? Most of the beneficiaries of Johnson's money never knew where the money came from. I personally know hundreds and hundreds of such instances where the family had distinguished itself from other publicity-seeking do-gooders of the world, just to do what is right, incognito. Such a family deserve our appreciation (which they don't ask for) and prayers to enable them do more for the city they truly love.

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  13. Not sure how J-Wax got involved here. Racine is certainly better off with SC Johnson than without. (Per the property tax scandal, that was Becker's fault. He kept that secret and screwed the city in the process.)

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  14. When too few have too much and too many have too little, there's nothing for the bottom and crumbs for the middle. The Waxtrash corporate crime family's insatiable lust for loot and heartless arrogance are the reasons why Racine's poor cry. If those money-monarchs were so good, they wouldn't dodge their property taxes or exploit cheap temp labor. The poverty which they inflict on the rest of us for their fun and profit is one of the reasons Racine leads the state in minority infant mortality and nearly every other index of human suffering.

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  15. Another reason for mentioning our opulent oppressors is their link to a dead-and-damned racist and elitist, Frank Lloyd Wright. For the wicked Waxies, Wright is practically on a par with God. A Waxie I'll call "Dr. Risk" once even said that Wright made his family "blossom." (Anyone who doubts Wright's racism should read "The Fellowship." A clan which reveres Wright is no friend of the minority community.)

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  16. Dear 6:36 P.M., The wealth of the nation is first anf foremost the property of all the citizens of the nation. When capitalist greed and corruption cause maldistribution of wealth, the people's government has the right and the duty to rectify the problem. NOBODY HAS THE RIGHT TO SQUAT OBSCENELY ON BILLIONS OF DOLLARS WHEN HIS FELLOW-CITIZENS ARE TRAPPED IN POVERTY. Even Thomas Paine--a favorite writer of our elite class--believed that the government had the right to redistribute wealth.

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  17. Redistribution of wealth via taxation is one of the prices we pay for a civilized society. The oligarchy's excessive wealth and its tax-dodging proclivities are both notorious.

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  18. Dear 8:43 P.M., Socialist societies aren't "divisive." If you don't believe me, ask anyone who's studied one of the finest socialist nations on earth: The Netherlands. Workers there enjoy a short work week (33 to 38 hours) plus several weeks paid vacation every year. By the way, the short work week and the government-funded benefits haven't destroyed the Dutch work ethic. When people feel that they're treated fairly by their society, they don't mind contributing to it. (Here in Racine, where the rich and their lackeys exploit the workers as low-income wage slaves, it's a different story. We all know which corrupt tribe doesn't like unions and plays sick games with its temps, don't we?)

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  19. Capitalism--with its extreme disparities in wealth and access to healthcare--is far more divisive than socialism. In Racine (as in the rest of our country), our economic system divides the people into haves and have nots for the exclusive benefit of the former. If the plutocrats think that the common man will quietly endure this abuse and allow the system to destroy him and his brothers for the entertainment of the elite, they've got a surprise coming. One way or another,wealth caps, confiscatory taxation and governmental control of major industries will become the law of the land. National healthcare and other long-overdue reforms are on America's agenda whether or not the hyper-privileged classes give their consent. In a civilized society, the greatest good of the greatest number--NOT INDIVIDUALISM--must prevail.

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  20. From each according to his abilities, to each according to his need. This rule prevails in decent socialist nations such as Denmark, Norway, Sweden, The Netherlands and the rest of the Western European democracies. By the way, these enlightened countries beat the U.S.A. in every index of human well-being, including low infant and maternal mortality rates.

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  21. Lets stop this discution and start thinking what could I do to fix this?... Because we are all part of this. even if you like it or not, we all live in Racine. When they say Racine is all of us. We should all feel ashame of this and start doing something about it.

    Put your money where your mouth is...

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  22. Lets stop this discution and start thinking what could I do to fix this?... Because we are all part of this. even if you like it or not, we all live in Racine. When they say Racine is all of us. We should all feel ashame of this and start doing something about it.

    Put your money where your mouth is...

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  23. The infant mortality rate in all of SE Wisconsin is a travesty. It is linked to utility and industrial toxic pollution and brownfield disruptions when clean-ups are attempted. Prenatal care is a reaction concern. The same infant mortality concerns are linked to Autism, Asthma and other child afflictions. The WDHS is aware of this!

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  24. Yes, we should do something about the minority infant mortality crisis. However, in a sick society where money equals power, the crass creeps who've grown wealthy by oppressing the rest of us should pay the lion's share of the expenses. If they won't do so voluntarily via philanthropy, the government should intervene and seize their ill-gotten gains through taxation or outright confiscation.

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  25. We all know which corporate crime family profits from the poor, desperate, cheap temp labor it exploits in Racine. Since the Waxies benefit from the misery of the poor, they should pick up the tab for solving our minority infant mortality problem.

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  26. Serious contributions to the war on infant mortality would also help the Waxtrash improve their image. For decades, the Carnauba cash-cadgers have been perceived as racist. Anyone who's looked at their labor practices and personnel will tell you that the Black community hasn't been treated fairly by the billionaire bigots and their big-buck bozos. Then there's the Waxtrash clan's love affair with Frank Lloyd Wright, a racist and an elitist to the max. Any family whose members revere Wright has a gigantic public relations problem where racial issues are concerned. Major contributions to Black organizations working to reduce infant mortality would be a good way to improve the Waxies' image.

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  27. While we're at it, Fisk could renounce his totally-unjustified property tax exemptions. For a multi-billionaire, $500,000.00 per year should be chicken feed. However, that money could help the city and the county combat health problems, infant mortality included.

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  28. Dear Claudius A., Please don't give the Waxtrash corporate crime family a halo. No one can grow or maintain a fortune innocently. Your beloved Waxies must be aware of this fact and cognizant of the hatred their excessive wealth has inspired among their victims or they wouldn't have a Director of World Wide Security on their staff.

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  29. The bottom line is that poverty causes high infant mortality and private sector predators, in their turn, impoverish and exploit their victims. So the Waxies and their crimes are definitely part of the high minority infant mortality problem.

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  30. As a victim of the capitalist system, I work for the day when the people's government will confiscate the Waxstash and send our oppressors to prison.

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  31. High minority infant mortality in Racine: there's blood on hands/with platinum bands.

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  32. Holly

    Love to know how you justify that concept in your mind. There is FAR more whites that are employed by Jwax.

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  33. WE Energies is by far the worst SE Wisconsin polluter. They were fined $600 million dollars by the EPA and allowed to apply the fine towards abatement equipment, that is not yet operating. They pollute everyday in epic amounts!

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  34. Maybe these babies should not have babies like rabbits and there would not be a problem.

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  35. This Pendleton women most likely never took care of herself or the children. She also never said how she lost the kids. Was it because SHE cared for only herself and used the kids for state money. Skip the art and wax crap, it's the mother who mostly was at fault, not the system.

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  36. Another epic fail from our glorious mayor. Can't he take another trip on the taxpayer's dime to fix this? Maybe he has a 15 point plan sitting next to his 10 year plan.

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  37. Dear 9:50,Please don't blame society's victims for their plight. Until you've walked a mile in their worn-out shoes, don't judge them. In this sick country, we impose too much responsibility on the poor (who can barely survive) and too little responsibility on the rich (who exploit the poor in order to thrive).

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  38. Here in America, we look down on the poor and identify with the rich in the mistaken belief that somehow or another the privileged twits will help us and admit us to their class. That's why high-and-mighty middle class idiots blame Black mothers for our high minority infant mortality rate. Because they're poor and relatively powerless, the Black mothers are perfect scapegoats.

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  39. From whom too much has been given, everything shall be extracted. The Waxies' obscene wealth and Black infants' poor health are connected. Someday the Waxstash will melt into the public treasury and be used to provide healthcare for all our citizens.

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  40. Maybe if these babies that are having babies didn't constantly spread their legs this problem would go away.

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  41. You are all on crack. And I suppose you want the great oppressors to pick that up for you too. Along with your kicks,grills,and caddys.

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  42. Is there any conclusive evidence that shows the deaths are related to either lack of pre-natal care, lack of responsible behavior by the pregnant women or connection to pollutants?
    I remember reading many years ago about how pollutants can cause mild retardation. Can this current situation be somehow related to these mothers living in poverty being unable to make intelligent decisions with their own pregnancies? Maybe they themselves were exposed to toxic substances when in utero or children and now have some sort of mental challenges that prevent them from being able to take a daily pill or eat healthy?

    Before anyone screams racist at me, that article I read a long time ago didn't make any conclusions based on race. It was strictly based on pollution levels on all living things. Even plants were mutated from exposure to the wrong chemicals.

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  43. Dear 1:37 P.M., You may very well be right. If you're correct, all our self-righteous bourgeois blue noses should stop attacking those unfortunate mothers and start helping them instead!

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  44. 1:43 - I'll help them - I'll tell them to close their legs.

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  45. Dear 1:43 P.M., Many of these poor women are raped or otherwise coerced into intercourse. Please show them some compassion.

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  46. The mothers didn't ask to be born poor and female. Neither did they create a male-dominated, sex-obsessed culture in which they've been forced to function. However, because of our Puritan past and our misguided belief in individualism, we blame the mothers for making bad choices and punish them for being low-income minority females in a rich Caucasian male's world.

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  47. If America could outgrow its Victorian Transcendentalist notion that the poor choose to be poor, we could solve our social problems without blaming the victims of an economic system which should have been junked right after the Crash of '29.

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  48. Capitalism, racism and sexism cause high minority illegitimacy and infant mortality rates. The evil legacy of slavery and debt peonage--which left the Black woman at the mercy of sexual predators--created this horrible situation. Then a moralistic Victorian twit named Ralph Waldo Emerson pushed the concept of self-reliance and the notion that the poor were responsible for their misery. Our privileged class picked up Emerson's trash and threw it at our less-fortunate people to keep them down. Don't blame the victims--blame their oppressors, who impose an unjust economic system on the poor in the name of morality and snicker all the way to the banks they own in this corrupt society.

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  49. There's nothing wrong with the mothers that freedom from poverty and liberation from sexual abuse couldn't cure.

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  50. Folks, stop feeding the lone troll- no matter how many times it posts. PLEASE!!!!

    Talk to someone that grew up in Madison, preferably one that now lives in SE WI, and you will find that Madison is so out of touch that they actually believe that they are culturally AND socio-economically diverse. Madison has three, maybe four, "bad" areas: two are 8-12 unit buildings, another is a larger apartment complex that they fixed the problem by installing a chain-link fence in the median of the main road it is on so residents wouldn't walk across the street, and the possible last on is a mobile home park that is believed to be too redneck(for Madison). Honestly, they have no idea how the rest of the state works and see no reason to understand the various regions- they believe everyone else could be perfect if only Madison's way was followed. Is it any wonder that the state scrapped the AFDC system and switched to W2 when some Beloit recipients found out how uncrowded the welfare offices were and how willing the people that manned them were to get them more and more benefits?

    No hate or fear-mongering here, just the facts....

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  51. Let's put the blame on someone else. That is the problem with our society today. It's time people and these baby mothers take responsibility for their own actions. Stop this damn blame game.

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  52. For a person to possess responsibility, she first must possess power. By and large, poor minority women are powerless. Blaming powerless paupers pleases the plutocrats, who don't want us to see the connection between the evil economic system they impose on their victims and our tragically-high minority infant mortality rate. Stop blaming the victims and start blaming the system which makes them and their babies suffer.

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  53. Quit making excuses and start taking responsibility. Every women has control of her own body - no one is making her spread her legs and have babies like rabbits. Those who are pro-abortion are always saying it's the women's choice, that she should have control over her body and to have an abortion - well it's also the women's choice if they want to get knocked up.

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  54. Dear PR=PR, Who the bloody blazes are you to call anyone a troll? In case you don't know it, Mister, "troll" is an insulting term for poor homeless people who sleep under bridges. Since you seem to like cut-throat capitalism so much, please remember that some corporate twit in a snit could reduce you to that sad state. Ih The Netherlands, a decent nation with a great social safety net, that would never happen to a citizen. Think about it.

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  55. Dear 9:07 A.M., Not every woman has control of her body. Many poor minority women are raped or coerced through fear of violence to submit to sexual intercourse. As for abortion, in many of the denominations to which these women belong, it's seen as a ticket to hell for both the mother and her unbaptized unborn infant. Expecting upper-middle class Caucasian conduct from impoverished minority women is ridiculous. If you want to hector promiscuous females, go after babes with some money, clout and education and leave the poor alone.

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  56. Excuses, excuses - ok of all the babies that are born in Racine, what % represent rape?

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  57. Buddy, I hope there's no reincarnation so you won't have to come back as a poor minority female. Those unfortunate women are bullied and beaten into participating in sexual intercourse. (If that isn't a form of rape, I don't know what else to call it.) Cease blaming the victims and start attacking the system which sets them up for exploitation.

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  58. Hey Buddy - what % of women fall into this category? Once again quit making excuses. If a women finds herself in this situation, it's up to her to do something about it. There are plenty of agencies to help - e.g. The Women's Resource Cetner here in Racine. People need to take responsibility for their lives and if they are in a bad situation then they need to take the step to get out of it. If there is reincarnation - I hope you come back as a richie poo!

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  59. Demanding Emersonian self-reliance from downtrodden women with more mental and financial problems than we could cope with is cruel and counter-productive. No, I can't give you an exact percentage of Racine-area minority births caused by rape. However, if you discuss the tragic topic with social workers, you'll soon learn that those minority mothers are threatened and forced into engaging in sexual intercourse. Quite often, they've been abused by several men. Please show them some mercy and go after the system which lets predators exploit them.

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  60. dear 1:18 P.M., If I do return as a richie-poo, I'll be a radical reformer who'll make F.D.R. look like Mitt Romney.

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  61. 2:06 - don't blame the system - These women need help and help is available but no one can make them get it. They have to do it on theie own. And I am very aware of such situations, and social workers will tell you the same thing.

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  62. Mister, those women are so beaten down by a system designed to make them nothing but breeders of cheap labor that expecting them to do anyrhing is ridiculous. Thanks to Ralph Waldo Emerson and other sadists, American society requires its victims to do the impossible. When rhe poor souls fail,the privileged classes and their middle class epigones blame the victims.

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  63. Mr. Angry stop with the blame game - you have an excuse for everything. Take responsibility for yourself and quit blaming the system. That is the cowards way out.

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  64. No, it's a realist's way of dealing with a bad situation. Until the system is radically changed, individual effort on the part of rank-and-file people is worthless. On the other hand, once ordinary people organize and exert collective effort to reform the system, progress is possible. (Here in America. we're too obsessed with the individual and blame the victims of the system for their problems. In Western Europe and other civilized regions of the globe, the people's government helps the system's victims and--if necessary--alters the system for the benefit of the majority.)

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  65. Mr. Angrey - no you blame the system and don't hold people responsible. As I said no one can make a women seek help, we can only make it available to them. The bottom line is it is up to them to choose. I encourage any women that is in a difficult, abusive relationship to contact the Women's Resource Center or some other agency. The hlep is there - don't listen to Mr. Angry, he'll have you wallowing in your despair waiting for the people's revolution - that will be too late for you.

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  66. How old are the parents of these dying babies? Where can we find out the compiled information? There have got to be some links besides poverty. It is commonplace for people to be pot smokers, or blunts. Meanwhile FOCUS concentrates on alcohol and cigs for grant money. Being back Dare.

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  67. JWax has nothing to do with this issue. The problem is thinking that we need to council and educate these stupid girls AFTER they have these babies. What should be done is educating them at home and in school about how to keep their legs together until they're adult enough and ready to have children under the proper circumstances. Or, at the least, how to use contraceptives. And the same for boys as well.

    Having children out of wedlock is not a racial issue. "Stupid is as stupid does" is simply a human issue. The fact that there is no longer a stigma attached to single women (or even children) having babies (thank you very much Candice Bergen) has propagated this surge of babies having babies.

    If you want to eliminate the infant mortality rate, take these babies away from the stupid young unmarried girls at birth and place them with loving adult couple who wait in line for years to adopt infants. Also, quit giving them additional welfare or SS for every child they have once they're on the dole. Enough is enough.

    As for you socialist, communists and fascist, why don't you just donate half of your paycheck every week to some deserving blood sucker that refuses to get off their butt and go to work and leave the rest of us alone? This is capitalistic society, get used to it or leave the country. Everyone here has the opportunity to educate themselves and rise above their current positions. Some have the opportunities handed to them on a silver platter and still refuse to put forth even the slightest effort to better themselves. They would just rather sit back and do nothing with their hand out every month for a free check.

    And quit playing the color card. You no longer have that excuse.

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  68. Dear Graham, The America in which the minority mothers exist has zero opportunities for them. Centuries ago, the lily-white oligarchs who founded this place in order to dodge their debts to London banks and merchants decided that non-white females along with some poor Caucasian gals had only two roles--doing drudge chores and breeding lots of dumb, docile cheap labor. The oppression of minority women and the exploitation of poor white females both were built into the filthy system from its beginning. Don't blame the victims for the crimes which generations of propertied white males perpetrated against them.

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  69. Because our elite liked Emerson's notion that people possessed limitless potential, that Victorian crap enables propertied snobs to blame the poor for their misery. Instead of examining the system and seeing how it was designed to hold certain people down,we blame the victims and excoriate them for failure to live up to their potential. (Other cultures aren't so dumb. In most of Europe, people know that human potential is a Transcendentalist myth. What's more, most European governments help downtrodden people instead of expecting them to meet and overcome challenges.)

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  70. Dear Graham, Whether you like it or not, America is maturing into a socialist nation and ditching its antiquated covered-wagon values. Slowly but surely, compassion is replacing competition. By and large, our people are becoming less doctrinaire and more tolerant. Although you, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck may not approve of these changes, they're here and they won't go away.

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  71. You bleeding heart liberals make me laugh. It's everybody's fault but their own. What a crock of BS.
    People are responsible for their own actions. Don't push the stupidity of young girls on society and blame us for it. Push it on their parents who should have educated and CONTROLLED her. Or maybe the parents that should have instilled some morals into their male children. Society didn't tell her to spread her legs, in fact, society tells her not to. But without responsible parents taking control of their children's upbringing I suppose it's my fault that your daughter got knocked up. More BS.

    And how in the world does capitalism have anything to do with it? Are you telling me that there are no illegitimate babies born in socialistic or communistic societies? Are you telling me that girls from middle class and wealthy families don't have illegitimate babies? Quit being so racist about this!

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  72. Troll,

    Look up "Internet troll" or "blog troll". I'll try not to confuse you again but I don't quite know how since I don't think everyone is out to screw me over or that every thing in society happens because of some puppet-master with a racial or classist ideology.

    I am done trying to converse with you, at least until your posting habits mature.

    Good day, "Mister".

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  73. Good evening, PR=PR!

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  74. Seriously speaking, most individuals have little if any power. That's why the elitists and other oppressors have encouraged individualism in our sad country. As long as most of the system's victims are individualists, they'll be so busy competing against each other that they won't be able to unite against their oppressors to change the system. Any way you look at it, individualism is divisive. Our so-called rugged individualism keeps the poor divided and guarantees that they'll remain trapped at the bottom. That's why my name for this idiotic ideology is "RAGGED INDIVIDUALISM."

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  75. Collective problems require collective solutions.

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  76. Mr. Angry quit the blame game and have some balls. Over and over and over - you blame the system. Take some responsibility. No one feels sorry for you like you do for yourself just becase you have some arthritis. Get out and do something constructive like many of my friends who have disabilities do. Spend less time whining and get out and make a difference.

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  77. There is no "Mr. Angry." Even so, there are many angry men fighting against this filthy system. Our particular group uses non-violent, legal methods exclusively. We encourage low-income, marginalized people to register to vote and support progressive candidates. Thanks in part to our work, someday this land will be led by men who'll make President Obama resemble Newt Gingrich.

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  78. Amen! Until we ditch capitalism and build a social safety net for all our citizens, individual effort will achieve very little. Right now, our pathetic struggle aginst high minority infant mortality is about as effective as applying an anti-itch ointment to cancer. Once we change our economic system and harness our nation's resources to combat the problem, it will vanish.

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  79. Why are socialist nations migrating towards capitalism (China, Netherlands, etc)?

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  80. Anon 5:40, there have been no "victims ... of propertied white males" for over 140 years. So that argument doesn't stand up. The civil rights movement has culminated in a black man being elected President of the United States. So there is no racial excuse that can be used either. The truth you don't want to face is that since the liberals perverted the original intent of F.D.R.'s welfare program, they have created a whole new class of slaves addicted to the entitlement programs made available by even more liberals to keep the poor dependent so that they can continue to vote themselves even more entitlements through electing even more liberals and suck off those who did apply themselves in school, did work hard to better themselves and who are now productive, contributing, valuable members of society. Those that don't apply themselves, but could, are the ones creating the financial hardship for everyone else. Those who truly need help (whether physically or mental challenged) should get it. But the vast number that sit on their buns and commit fraud every month just to get a free check should be ashamed of themselves. Those that you refer to as "victims" are victims of themselves, not society.

    Anon 5:48, saying, "human potential is a Transcendentalist myth" is about the stupidest thing I've ever heard. If it weren't for human potential we'd still be living in caves, much less put a man on the moon. And to site that "governments help downtrodden people instead of expecting them to meet and overcome challenges" is equally as stupid. Meeting and overcoming challenges builds character, strengthens the soul, improves self-esteem, instills pride and is a model for others.

    Anon 5:57, you may call the Christian morals this country was built on "covered-wagon values," but that doesn't make them any less true and correct. There are things within Christian societies that are held to be wrong, sinful, unhealthy and downright adverse to the laws of God and nature. The most recent polls show that 80% of the people in this country are of Christian faith (regardless of what the idiot-in-charge in Washington thinks). Other polls show that, even agnostics and atheists know the difference between what is healthy or unhealthy and right or wrong and for a society. This increased tolerance that you talk about is one of the things undermining the morality of this country. You say this nation is going socialist. Well, let me tell you, it's only going to go so far and then it is going to be stopped, with all finality.

    Anon 5:09 is part of the problem. He says, "We encourage low-income, marginalized people to register to vote and support progressive candidates." That means he encourages people who are getting handouts to vote for candidates (liberals) who will increase their handouts. That is the populous voting themselves gifts from the government. A society like that can not endure.

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  81. China never had genuine socialism--it had communism. Today it's got an unholy mixture of communist totalitarianism and cut-throat capitalism for the benefit of the elite. As for The Netherlands, the Dutch have a mixed economic system combining some features of capitalism with a social safety net for their citizens. But even right-wing Hollanders want to keep the social safety net, the short work week and the annual eight weeks of holiday/paid vacation.

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  82. Dear Graham, How I wish you and the right-wingers you admire had a magic time machine! Then you could go back to the Victorian era and stay there. Regarding human potential, most people are not cut out for facing challenges and shouldn't be forced to attempt the impossible. Have you ever wondered why we have so much random violence and road rage in this crappy culture? A lot of it is caused by the stress and pressure which our privileged class inflicts on the ordinary people. Remove the fear of failure and the threat of poverty (as Western European societies have done) and most of the violence will disappear. If you want an example closer to home, take a good look at Canada. By and large, Canadians are decent, law-abiding, non-violent people. In large part this is due to the economic security which they enjoy.

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  83. If the truth were told, the rich should be in favor of social entitlement programs and view the taxes they pay to support them as premiums on their social stability insurance policy.

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  84. Regardless, most people are not capable of surviving under cut-throat capitalism. If the well-being of people--rather than profit margins--is our priority, capitalism will either vanish or merge with socialism.

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  85. The fact remains that socialist countries beat us where infant mortality is concerned. Why? Because socialism cares about people while capitalism values money, property and profits.

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  86. Dear Graham, Since when is putting a man on the Moon such a great idea? With all the misery we've got here on earth, space travel ought to be a low priority. (Needless to say, the right-wingers, including the late, far-from-great Ayn Rand, loved Moon shots and similar noxious nonsense. The reason for the rightist's enthusiasm was the fact that the space program gave big bucks to the porkers in charge of the military-industrial complex.)

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  87. Dear Graham, The overwhelming majority of people on this planet can barely survive. Pressuring them to achieve is nothing but cruelty and craziness combined. Get real and learn to accept people as the limited creatures they are instead of the titans Emerson thought they were.

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  88. Graham, if you like the moon so much, please go there. Seriously, lunar voyages are luxuries and lunacy as long as our citizens wallow in poverty. If we'd spent one tenth of what we've blown on NASA on reducing infant mortality in this country, we'd have the healthiest babies in the world.

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  89. Dear Graham, As for the notion that overcoming challenges is good for people, it's ridiculous. Pressure to do the impossible doesn't make people better--it renders them BITTER. We've got scads of bitter wage slaves in this sick country because the elite and their bourgeois allies want their serfs to work extra hard. The sooner we chuck the Victorian and Transcendentalist propaganda in the garbage--where it belongs--the better!

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  90. If the pursuit of excellence is so darned good for people, why do kids in our finest private schools crack under pressure and commit suicide? Conquering adversity is bunk from Horatio Alger stories and Ayn Rand novels. In the real world, hardship and the corrupt system crush less-fortunate individuals. Only when the people unite to solve collective problems such as minority infant mortality will anything worthwhile be accomplished.

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  91. Dear Graham, It would be nice if the Caucasian male predators had ceased to be a problem after 1865. Alas, rich Caucasian males continued to own and run this country long after the Civil War.Debt peonage and sharecropping held Black people down well into the last century. Exploitation of Black people as cheap labor persists to this day. The fact that Mr. Obama made it to the Executive Mansion just means that an exceptional man whose Caucasian maternal kin sent him to a pricey private school managed to make good use of that advantage. Sad to say, his rise has little to do with the situation of Black Americans whose forebears were severely damaged by slavery, debt peonage, sharecropping and other forms of labor exploitation.

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  92. Dear Graham, Your covered wagon's rolled away/ and tolerance is here to stay.

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  93. Whether the rich like it or not, we've got lots of poor infants and mothers who need care. In any other post-industrial developed country, they'd receive it. However, here in the Benighted Snakes, the dollar-sign dynasties do everything they can or may to block social programs. What's more, our brainless middle class sides with the elite because it dreams of getting rich and doesn't want to pay taxes which could delay its triumphal march to the winner's circle. That's right, America has a wage or salary-earning class that's so stupid that it doesn't know it's reaslly part of the working class. Instead of foolishly identifying with its solvent exploiters, the American moddle class should identify with the poor and elect men who'll build a social safety net for all our citizens. Since the social safety net would include free to low cost healthcare, infant mortality would cease to be a problem.(If you don't believe me, compare our disgraceful infant mortality rates with the infant mortality rates in Canada and the Western European social democracies.)

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  94. Get real, Graham!

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  95. When it comes to quality of life, including low infant mortality rates, the Western European social democracies and Canada beat the U.S.A. every way. When are we going to grow up, kick out cowboy capitalism and join the civilized world?

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  96. This will happen after our middle class stops falling for the richie-poos' lies and ceases to identify with the wealthy. Right now, we have a brainwashed bourgeoisie whose members think that if they help the oligarchs exploit the rest of our citizens, the money-masters will admit them to their club. Once the current depression knocks the nonsense out of our middle class, it will begin to identify with the poor and demand change. When the middle class learns to hate the rich--a lesson which pink slips and foreclosures are already teaching it--we'll be able to chop obscene fortunes down to size and build a social safety net for our citizens.

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  97. The sooner the better! Research will tell you that nations with social safety nets have far lower infant mortality rates than capitalist countries do.

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  98. That's because capitalism is about nothing but money while socialism nurtures people. Under socialism, things such as property are less important than human beings.

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  99. Frankly, capitalism belongs in history's junkyard along with feudalism, slavery, indentured servitude and other inhumane elitist trash.

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  100. All those of you that are against capitalism - get the hell out because that is what the U.S. stands for.

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  101. If capitalism is what the U.S. stands for, our country is in serious trouble. Throughout its history, capitalism has done nothing but harm to the poor, working class and lower-middle class people who've been forced to endure it.

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  102. 2:36 - then endure away baby, that's what we have in the good ole U.S.

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  103. But we won't have it forever. One way or another, America will become a social democratic nation like Canada. Pray that the transition will be smooth and non-violent.

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  104. Why anyone who isn't a bloated plutocratic corporate thief would want capitalism is beyond me. Capitalism values money more than mankind. Capitalism inflicts misery on anyone who wasn't born into the elite. Capitalism corrupts both its victors and its victims. More to the point of the article, capitalist countries have far higher infant mortality rates than socialist nations. I live and work for the day when capitalism will be relegated to history's museum of horrors along with feudalism and slavery.

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  105. The poor only have themselves to blame and make excuses just like these idiots commenting on this site. There are plenty of poor people who have succeeded and refused to take entitlements. And Mr. Angry quit threatening the population or we'll find a way of identifying you and prosecute you.

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  106. There is no "Mr. Angry." Rather there are many angry men who'll destroy capitalism through legal, non-violent means only. Our group would never threaten anyone. In addition to being immoral, threats are counter-productive.

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  107. Dear 9:58 A.M., You must be pretty insecure if you misinterpret historians' warnings about probable future events as threats.

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  108. Telling folks what could happen if social problems aren't solved is not tantamount to threatening them. Our people are just watchmen warning the fortunate few and their middle class imitators that the unsustainable status quo is on the verge of collapse.

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  109. 3:45 - please give me the date, place and time so that I can get into my calendar.

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  110. Dear 8:08 A.M., Because I'm not Nostradamus, I can't give you an exact date. Even so, I'm pretty sure that our corrupt system could crash and burn within a decade unless we build a social safety net for the rank-and-file and rein in the oligarchs whose greed caused the current economic crisis.

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  111. Come on 9:16 - you are so good at predicting the future, be more specific. Will it be in a January or March? Will it be in the AM or PM - a little guidance would be nice. We all want to prepare this revolutionary moment.

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  112. Barring divine inspiration,no man may accurately prophesy the exact date of the impending collapse of capitalism. However, the well-born and wealthy French philosopher Condorcet correctly predicted that the monarchy would fall during the years immediately preceding the outbreak of the Revolution of 1789. Unlike many of his equally-privileged pals, he saw it coming. With this thought in mind, I'll say that our system has less than fifteen years to go unless the rich accept higher taxes to fund a cradle-to-grave social safety net for all American citizens. With that anti-poverty protection in place, the rank-and-filers will be less likely to smash the system and the savvy plutocrats will succeed in retaining much of their loot for another generation or two.

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  113. One way or another, though, the U.S. is going to join the rest of the civilized, developed, post-industrial world. My advice to the guy who tries to bully "Mr. Angry" is to start learning that he and his unkind kind aren't endowed with the right to abuse the less fortunate. If they don't, their victims may teach them respect for the common man using methods which my group and I DON'T endorse.

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  114. If the self-appointed tormentor of "Mr. Angry" actually does terrorize our officials by throwing his wealthy weight around at City Hall, he should be investigated and prosecuted. The same applies to the whining executive's consort who yanks wires for her sick entertainment. ALL CITIZENS OF THIS COMMUNITY SHOULD RECEIVE EQUAL CONSIDERATION FROM OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES.

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  115. I've got the perfect punishment for the wallet-waving wombat who dumps on "Mr. Angry" and anyone else who shows some concern about the poor. After the installation of the people's government, the IRS should seize his entire stash and earmark it for free prenatal and infant care. Then the nurses should encourage the low income mothers to name their kids after their involuntary benefactor.

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  116. Mr. Angry - ok you've got it down to at least 15 years, but my calendar does not go out that far. Can you be a little more specific -date, time and place. Is this in Racine, Kenosha, Wisconsin, the midwest - we need details so that we can be off the streets sitting in our luxury homes.

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  117. Back in the thirties, there was a snooty WASP obstetrician on the board of a Chicago-area hospital. Due to his elitist prejudices, interns from poor families endured the torments of the damned. However, a creative young medico fixed the snob by convincing the moms in the charity ward to bestow the bigoted baby doctor's monicker on their little ones.

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  118. Mr. Angey - cute, but "on their little ones?" You still haven't given me the details requested on "the" revolution. Still waiting

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  119. Since I'm not The Almighty, I can't give you an exact time and date. Even so, I can tell you based on events in past revolutions, that luxurious homes may not be the best refuges from the common man's wrath. Willy-nilly, King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were forcibly removed from Versailles and taken to Paris where, after several other compulsory jaunts from one location to another, they were beheaded.

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  120. Shortly anterior to the official start of the French Revolution, a wealthy wallpaper manufacturer named Reveillon and his wife were burned out of their posh residence. Believe it or not, they raced to the Bastille, where they demanded and received shelter.

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  121. Verbum sapientibus--fancy residences attract the attention of revolutionary mobs. (France's smart Ancien Regime elite either fled into exile or retreated to relatively modest rural homes rather than chateaux.)

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  122. By the way, the snooty physician after whom the poor mothers named their infants was the adoptive father of Ronald Reagan's second wife.

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  123. Maybe OUR rich meanie's mansion should be seized and transformed into a maternity home, complete with his name over the main entrance.

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  124. Mr. Angry but when, where, date and time - you seem so sure of your revolution - back it up.

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  125. Only The Almighty knows those things. However, as anyone can tell you, the common man has very little confidence in a system which hands him pink slips and foreclosure or eviction notices.And poor mothers whose infants perish are asking questions you wouldn't want to answer.

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  126. Pray that a revolutionary tribunal doesn't ask the fallen oligarchs why they could find money for boats, planes, fancy vehicles, art and other non-essentials but couldn't save poor infants' lives.

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  127. If we build the social safety net now, this may not happen. How I wish the solvent classes would view the taxes to fund the social safety net as premiums on their social stability insurance policy. Paupers who receive support from the government and the socio-economic system won't risk losing that help through violent rebellion against the status quo.

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  128. Dear Plutocrats, Ante up to assist poor mothers and their children. If you save and improve low-income kids' lives, you may save your lives as well as your lush lifestyle.

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  129. Unwed mother's close your legs. Quit acting like rabbits.

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  130. Unfortunately, many of the poor women you refer to as "rabbits" receive worse treatment than animals. If they weren't raped or otherwise forced into coition by bipedal brutes,there would be far fewer out-of-wedlock pregnancies.Please show the victims some respect and compassion.

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  131. 10:01 - tell me what % represent the victims you speak of. 10%-20% for those I have compassion. For the rest, close your legs.

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  132. 10:01 - and your answer is? Don't know do you, so keep your trap shut.

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  133. No, I don't possess exact figures on this sad subject--to the best of my ken, nobody does. However, if you'll ask social workers, they'll tell you that rape is prevalent among people trapped in the bottom of our economic system. The old adage that procreation is the poor man's recreation is all too true. Males who've been beaten down by the system pass their pain along to smaller, weaker victims such as women and children.

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  134. 5:11 - Well then you know not what you speak. Provide statistics or your comments are meaningless.

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