08/12/2006

There’s a chill in the air… time to knit some mittens!

It’s been cool the last few days here in Colorado. 70s in the daytime, 50s at night. Last night actually dipped down to 49. I’m hoping for a late frost, though, because I still have a lot of canning to do and I’m not ready for my tomoatoes to die. 90s are predicted for September, so there’s hope that summer’s not over yet. Fall is so unpredictable here, it’s impossible to guess. Sometimes it can be 85 one day, and snow the next!

Regardless, winter is on the way. But I’m still not ready to knit large, wool sweaters, shawls, or afghans! So this month I’m featuring mittens. There are always people who are cold in the winter. The homeless and the poor, adults and children, in the US and around the world. Regardless of what charity knitting causes you support, mittens are a great contribution at this time of year.

According to an article on Forbes.com, “The nation’s poverty rate was essentially unchanged last year, the first year it hasn’t increased since before President Bush took office. The Census Bureau reported Tuesday that 37 million Americans were living under the poverty line last year – about 12.6 percent of the population.”

That’s pretty embarassing for the “world’s greatest nation,” isn’t it? Poverty hasn’t declined since Clinton was sitting in the Oval Office. Although there’s a lot of talk about a recoving economy in the US, the only ones who are “recovering” are those who are already rich and phoney corporate “persons.” New jobs have been created, but many of those are low wage retail and service jobs, which are not an equivalent replacement of the high-tech and union manufacturing jobs that have been sent over seas.

Those of us who live from paycheck to paycheck are still scraping by as best we can, and unfortunately that means that many people are what is considered “working poor,” not homeless but still not making enough to keep their kids’ bellies full or hands warm.

According to Sylvia A. Allegretto of the Economic Policy Institute, “The U.S [leads] the 16 developed countries in child poverty.” She says, “The contrast between the great wealth in the United States and such appallingly high child poverty rates is quite stark. The United States needs to make a strong commitment to reduce child poverty.”

In the long term, we need to make our votes count to get people who really care about the common man and the poor into office so our government can stop catering to the rich at the expense of the poor. But in the meantime…

a weekend’s worth of knitting can 

bring a smile to a mother’s face 

and a bit of warmth to her child’s chilly fingers. 

Subversive Knitting

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