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By Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq. | February 1, 2014

– Despite generalized protest to the contrary, there are many who would argue that one is rarely exposed to accidental circumstance – accidents just don’t happen! In the contemporary lexicon of numerous professions, the term “accidental” has been replaced with the term “negligent.” The obvious difference between the two terms relates to the fact that, in one situation, control of circumstance has been relinquished to Fate and, in the other it is acknowledged that a measured evaluation of a situation would’ve allowed a reasonable prediction of its outcome. The term negligent supports the belief that, with studied anticipation and appropriate avoidance, negative outcomes can be prevented.Although I’m unwilling to accept the absolute correctness of either of these positions, in matters of public policy, I hold little belief in the occurrence of accidents. Moreover, I believe that most of the circumstances that impact society – both positive and negative – are connected to past and current practices in such a way as to make them easily predictable. These outcomes aren’t accidental nor do they spring from the bowels of contemporary history as disconnected or independent events. {{more}} For us to digest the media misinformation and ascribe blame or cause as directed by the media or those who influence it is the height of civic negligence.Although I take a great deal of personal pride as one whose judgment is rooted in objectivity, I’m not totally innocent of making subjective decisions. In all of my decision-making processes, I do make a heartfelt attempt to weigh all of the information available and reach good, old-fashioned, common-sense conclusions. Although “common-sense ain’t common,” numerous arguments presented in the public discourse will not pass the silly test.While the US creates an environment where one family holds wealth in an amount that equals the total wealth of the 125 MILLION poorest Americans, where billion dollars corporations receive Federal subsidies or tax exemptions that allow them to pay little, if any, taxes, and where millionaire Congressmen protect the greater interests of the wealthy, we’re told that unemployed Americans need to receive a boost in their self-esteem with a cut to their long-term unemployment benefits. This is the logic of some in the face of three applicants for every available job!The same folks who sling that self-esteem lie are working at light speed trying to convince us that a law that extends the protection and emotional security of guaranteed health care to most Americans is LESS preferable than a health care system in which most regulations, costs and distributions are controlled by insurance companies. They would have us believe that our fellow Americans with “pre-existing conditions” aren’t worthy of the protections health insurance provides. They’d also have us believe that an Emergency Room for Primary Care system that burdens all citizens with having to subsidize healthcare with tax revenues is preferable to the self-reliance of an Affordable Care Act.While the wealthy and their legislative allies collaborate and conspire to defund or divert tax revenues away from public education, they simultaneously try to convince us that privatizing the system will make things better. Instead of strengthening K-12 public education to realize more balanced outcomes with private schools, they wish to close “non-performing schools.” But where, pray tell, will they put the students of those closed schools? The SCHOOL TO PRISON PIPELINE seems to be the obvious answer.Most of us are aware of these problems. The simple truth is that too many of us do not acknowledge the connection between them. One week of each month in 2014, I’ll give my take on issues of importance to our community and attempt to connect them to the larger picture of our circumstance. I encourage your feedback and comments.