State of the Nation
I am deeply concerned about the state of our nation. We have become a nation of complacent decadence. The following is by no means a complete list of what has me concerned. It is however, a good start.
1. We live in a nation whose professed ideal is one of selfish achievement. It’s no longer about keeping up with the Jones's; it’s about smacking the Jones's the fuck down. Many of us have become so competitive that we’ve ceased to think of anything but ourselves, and what we stand to gain or lose.
2. Our country is all about profit. Rich men doing the bidding of richer men while all the while telling us they care about us and our needs. The Demicans and Republicrats (thanks Ani) couldn’t care less about our poor and middle class butts, we don’t contribute enough money to weigh in.
3. We live in a nation that preaches tolerance from the pulpit while it demonstrates, by its actions, only tolerance for people and actions that adhere to Christian ideals. People who dare mention this hypocrisy are dubbed deviant and/or anti-American. This is ignorant in the extreme.
4. We live in a nation that claims to be a republic – a representative democracy. At what time have rich, predominantly white and predominantly male, aristocratic bureaucrats been representative of the public as a whole or held the interests of the poor and middle classes chief among their concerns?
5. Following that logic, in national elections, our electoral college is supposed to vote according to the popular vote in their districts. They are not required to do so and, they are anonymous. In reality, our presidency is decided by 538 votes of which 270 are needed to elect a president. I graduated in a class of 330 or so. Guess how many of those folks I knew and actively disagreed with?
6. The appointment of Duhbya, George of the Bungle, Bush to the office of President was a direct and obvious mockery of a system that is ludicrous on its face.
7. The political parties give “we the people” the choice between two men who are essentially the same and give us a vote so that we feel like we can exercise that choice. It’s crap. A vote for the better of two evils is still a vote for evil even if that vote is meaningless.
8. Our money isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. When the government needs more, it prints more. It’s not backed by anything other than the US’s financial reputation which is deteriorating as the backed Euro gains ground.
9. We are borrowing money to pay for our tax cuts, the war on terror, the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq, the rebuilding of Iraq and Afghanistan, the hurricane Katrina disaster, and I’m sure, the recovery efforts surrounding hurricane Rita. We cannot continue just putting all of this crap on our tab. Sooner or later, we will get tossed out of the bar.
10. China is buying up our debt at record rates. It doesn’t take a genius to realize what would happen if they called due and demanded payment in, oh lets just say, Euros.
11. Alternative fuels exist and are relatively easy to produce save that the oil and auto companies do not want them produced. For example, we have the farming capacity to produce enough bio-diesel to almost eliminate our dependence on fossil fuel. Why not? It’s about profit pure and simple – greed see #1.
12. Immunizations and Flu shots. This is the biggest load of crap served to us since we were given the vote. This is not to say that some immunizations haven’t benefited civilization, obviously some have. However, going out to get yourself a case of the flu in the form of a flu vaccine so you don’t get the flu and so that you can give it to everyone around you who didn’t get the vaccine only helps to put money in the pharmaceutical companies pockets. Take a closer look at the CDC’s flu numbers if you doubt me. Or better yet, take a look at Jon Rappoport’s No More Fake News.
13. We have legislated and continue to legislate personal safety - helmets, insurance, immunizations, seat belts, speed limits etc… Soon we’ll have to legally carry health insurance if we have children. Yay! I have kids, and I have health insurance. I carry insurance because I think it’s a good idea for me and my family, not because I think you should too.
14. We moved to impeach President Clinton for lying about a blowjob. To paraphrase Bill Maher, Bush has lost two trade centers, part of the Pentagon, four airliners, the budget surplus, a couple of thousand soldiers, and most recently a major metropolis – maybe he’s just had a bad string of luck? He's appointed his unqualified cronies to positions like the director of FEMA (two separate appointments in fact), and the American/Islamic good will ambassador and despite all of this, no serious consideration has been given to the idea of impeaching an incompetent, albeit I think well meaning, President.
15. The speed and effectiveness of our response, both at the State and Federal level to the Katrina disaster and now the Rita evacuation, is shameful and embarrassing.
16. Many of the people in the countries of the world hate us because of our leaders and their policies. While most of us wouldn’t do what our country does in our name, the perception of the world is that we’re all behind it. This is particularly ironic in that most of us don’t even excercise our right to vote - regardless of whether or not it would make a difference.
17. We the people are easily distracted by non-issues like flag burning, gay marriage, and gun control. Constitutional amendments don’t just happen folks. Read this post by Wigwam Jones who elaborates on this point far better than I would. Every time flag burning comes up, I start looking for what the other hand is doing.
18. We focus, and are meant to focus, on race, religion, sex, social class and economic concerns. This keeps us divided and at each other’s throats rather than focused on our leaders and their actions or inaction. We the people don’t keep our eye on the ball. It’s no wonder we play the patsy so often.
19. This focus is formed and refined by the public school system which was designed by the wealthy industrialists of the last century to produce good workers. They teach suspicion and mistrust of others in an environment of competition for meaningless prizes. Sounds a lot like the environment at work eh? We are taught, and we teach our kids to work for money. The rich teach their kids to make money work for them.
20. We live in a loosely controlled police state. It was made less loose with the Patriot Act and the implementation of Homeland Security. Now all that need be done to execute an unreasonable search and seizure is to allege terrorist sympathies on the individual to be searched. That person can then be incarcerated without trial or parole indefinitely. Yet another nail in the coffin of the Bill of Rights.
21. We have old women taking their shoes off in airports and piles of confiscated fingernail clippers and knitting needles while our borders remain all but wide open north and south. After 911, Bush encouraged all Americans to be watchful and notify authorities of anything suspicious. Recently, he criticised the Minute Men saying that they were disruptive vigilantes. The Minute Men, to make a point, camped on the border for a month, at their own expense, and reported any crossings to the border patrol. They were non-violent reporters. I ask you, if people can walk across the border unchecked, why bother protecting the planes?
I could probably go on but you begin to get my point. The system is quite simply broken. Any student of history will tell you that this is nothing new – rather a new iteration of an old cycle. I am a patriot. I love my country and what it was meant to stand for – liberty and justice for all. If our country is to exceed historical tradition, we must grow through and past this. We cannot hope for success by surrendering our freedoms for the illusion of security. Any of us could die at any time and for any number of reasons. To live in a state of inaction perpetuated by fear is no life at all. To quote Ben Franklin, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Remember, powers once given to the Federal Government are NEVER returned to the people.
For those of you whom I may have offended, I support your right to disagree. Free and open discourse on such issues is one of the few freedoms we continue to enjoy. I think it is only through conversation that compromise can be achieved. For those of you unwilling to compromise, yours must be an uncomfortable position indeed. I once said, “When neither side is even a little wrong, neither side is really right.”