Am I thankful?

Well, I guess there are two things to be thankful for this year.

The one thing I am really thankful is that I got my consulting group off the group, despite a bad economy.

The other thing is that Americans proved that my cynicism wrong (slightly) by electing Barack Obama their next president. Never in my lifetime did I ever think a black man would live in the White House. Even some black radicals, who were skeptical of Obama's candidancy, are coming around.

From Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

As a black nationalist, I have considered myself an American only as a technicality or an accident of birth. I’ve never hoisted the red, white and blue, only the red, black and green. I gave up on the American dream a longtime ago. I have worked and looked forward to autonomy and self-determination in our communities. I never imagined that I would live long enough to see an African-American president. I never even believed that I would live to see a black Miss America. But America fooled me! Even as I predicted an Obama nomination and then a presidential win, the reality of what happened on Nov. 4 still has me totally stunned.

Obama ran on the mantra of change, but his win has forced me to change too! My perspective on American society has changed and I am in the process of re-adjusting my philosophy to accommodate the fantastic thing that has occurred. This milestone is not just significant for African-Americans but for everyone. Politically, it is simply astonishing!..

...I am still wary of the promise of these opportunities because of the gross structural inequities built into “the system.” But given the psyche-shattering results of this election, I am willing to at least meet anyone halfway in the new pursuit of that promise.

The author's wariness is not unfounded.

From Associated Press:

Dozens of infants and toddlers who lived in Louisiana's biggest trailer park for those displaced by Hurricane Katrina were anemic because of poor diets, at a rate more than four times the national average.

About 41 percent of 77 children under the age of 4 suffered from the condition this year, according to a study released Monday by the Children's Health Fund. Most, and possibly all, lived in the Renaissance Village trailer park in Baker.

Iron deficiency anemia can cause fatigue and learning problems. Severe deficiency in young children can delay growth and development and even cause heart murmurs.

The national rate for children that young is below 10 percent. Louisiana has one of the nation's highest anemia rates, with about 24 percent of all children below the age of 5 affected, according to the 2007 Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance survey.

Dr. Irwin Redlener, president of the Children's Health Fund and director of Columbia University's National Center for Disaster Preparedness, said the Renaissance Village rate was double the rate for homeless children the same age in New York City shelters.

The study used records for all 261 babies and children who lived in New Orleans until Katrina and were treated last year at CHF's mobile clinics at the trailer park and Baton Rouge schools, said Roy Grant, the organization's director of applied research and policy analysis.

While most of the affected children were storm evacuees, it was possible that a few were natives of Baton Rouge.

But studying the problem further and providing follow-up care for the children is difficult because the state closed the parks in May.

"Now it's more difficult, because they're no longer in the trailer area. They're dispersed around the state. So it's a little harder to get follow-up," said Dr. Jimmy Guidry, Louisiana's health officer.

My cynicism never ceases to amaze me.

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