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The ChallengeTo Obama: Human Rights Top the List!"

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The arts, including National Public Broadcasting System, have been dealt a raw deal for many consecutive decades now. Reagan and the Republican Congress took, took, and took all that they could from the coffers of l governmental support for National Public Television.

So now we watch one PBS fund raiser after another. And when I see Multi-national corporate support is announced, I speculate that, whatever damage they're doing to the environment, and to our economy by shipping out American jobs - they simply want to improve their public image. Jaded? Yes, I am, and growing more and more curmudgeonly with the passing of every day.

But, what else should we expect?

Of course, in our schools, from kindergarten through the upper echelons of universities, aluni and corporate/business and local sponsors always raise money first for sports - albeit somehow ignoring physical education for all students - then only afterward for the sciences, with the arts tagging along far behind.

As a government, we have historically spent our money first and foremost upon armament and military technology. As President Elect Obama has repeatedly pointed out, our expenditures on aid to the poor, the endangered species of the middle class, and education represent only a small fraction of our national budget.

This is a state affairs that we can no longer afford to tolerate!

My brilliant uncle, John Bellitti, a chief of electrical engineering for Lockheed from World War II through the Apollo Space Program, invented the sensor light technology that finally has "trickled down" to the consumer for safety upon our front porches.

Must we now wait yet longer for those most basic of human rights to be fully granted everyone without distinction of race, ethnicity, social class, and sexuality to somehow magically fall as depicted in the Great Depression era in Irving Berlin's "Pennies From Heaven?"

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President Elect Obama has before him not just a full plate, but one spilling over. And its contents are not very appetizing: unemployment, the national debt, foreign relations with hostile countries like Russia, Iraq, Venezuela, and our disgruntled allies call out for immediate attention

The world's economy is following suit to the deplorable state of our own.

Israel remains under threat, with recent assaults by Palestinian insurgents.

Guantanamo still indicates to the world that we remain perpetrators of questionable imprisonment and torture.

But firstly, we need to put our own house in order.

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As President Elect Obama considers his cabinet posts and other appointments, many Americans are going without work, health insurance, or adequate nourishment.

"The pursuit of happiness" must, of course, include one's employment, budget, health, and food.

But that means for all Americans, without discrimination against race, ethnicity, sexuality, or social class. We have come to a juncture where "the change we need" has entered a critical phase, challenging the new Democratic administration to act quickly yet tactfully and effectively to solve a panoply of problems.

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EARLY 50's BOOMER:Leo.Decidedly heterosexual & available EDUCATION;Roman Catholic grade & college-prep, Roncalli High '69, Honors grad, Triple Distinction,National Forensic League.BA: Theatre Univ.WY ''75 Outstanding Theatre Senior & "Who's Who (more...)

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