France, is now complaining that the U.S. has been spying on French President Francois Hollande and other French leaders. Why? Are we worried about a terrorist attack from the French? Do we now routinely spy on all our friends and learn about our government’s activities only because of Wikileaks?
How did Julian Assange and Edward Snowden become international heroes of the early 21st Century? Is it because they did something wrong, or could it possibly be because they had the courage to point to wrongdoing by the United States?
Why is the United States Senate about to pass a bill approving a massive trade agreement, the TPP, negotiated in secret by the Obama Administration, which then demanded that it be “fast tracked,” rammed through the legislative process, before the American people could find out what was going on and have time to compare it to NAFTA and CAFTA, both of which helped to gut the American middle class? What country is this? Who are these guys working for?
Why is our own President going behind our backs with secret deals, siding with the wealthy few against his own party, forcing us to turn to Julian Assange and Edward Snowden to find the truth?
Why do we continue paying more for health care but getting less than the rest of the developed world? Why do we continue to accept this madness?
Why does it feel like a victory when the Supreme Court upholds one of the basic tenants of Obamacare, when we should have a nationalized healtcare system that cares for all, like the rest of the developed world? Medicare for everybody. Dental care, too. Why doesn’t the government consider dentistry to be an essential part of our healthcare? This is insane.
Why are Confederate battle flags still flying in the South? Why is this even still an issue? The Civil War ended in 1865. As many as 850,000 Americans were killed settling the issue of slavery and state’s rights. It’s over. The Union won. Why is this still with us? Why did it take the slaughter of nine innocent people at a bible study meeting to awaken the country to the ongoing issue of racism? Why is the Rebel battle flag still flying on the state capitol grounds in South Carolina, where the murders took place, overtly marking the State’s approval of slavery? Why don’t they just take it down and apologize for their blind insensitivity? Who the hell are we, that a whole section of our country can still be called the former slave states? Why are there people there who continue to celebrate the Confederacy and all it stood for? How can they possibly fail to understand that honoring bigotry serves as an attitudinal poison going forward?
After more than a dozen years of failure in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Middle East, we continue to engage in unending but profitable warfare. Promises that we will withdraw are broken as we refuse to let indigenous peoples work out their own problems. As a people we have become conditioned to endless warfare. Peace feels like an anachronism, something John Lennon sang about and nothing more. Although it feels as though it no longer has a chance. There’s too much money in death.
With massive tax cuts for the wealthy, the gap between the rich and the poor hasn’t been so broad since the Great Depression, and still Wall Street is permitted to run amok, as the rich do all they can to suck every last penny out of a beleaguered middle America which struggles to pay for increasingly expensive food and shelter. Forget a college education, which is now beyond the reach of most average Americans. Your grandparents were just forced to apply for a “reverse mortgage” so that they could stay in their house and continue buying food and supplemental health care while, by his own admission, billionaire Warren Buffet pays a lower percentage in taxes than his secretary.
Want a car? Take out a 7 year loan. Want to go to college? Fine, but you’ll graduate $80,000 in debt. Want to stay in your house? Take out a reverse mortgage and max out your credit cards while a reasonable rate of return on money deposited in a bank is an illusion even as CEO’s and board directors, aided and abetted by our politicians, walk away with billions in their overstuffed pockets.
This is madness.
Our government cuts deals in secret while spying on our allies and our own people while taking orders from bankers who finance their campaigns and promise heavy funding for their families and their causes once they leave office. A relative handful of royal families, the Bushs, the Waltons, the Kennedys, the Clintons, the Kochs, Dianne Feinstien, John Kerry, Darrell Issa, the Rockefellers and the rest of the uber-wealthy exert their influence and rake in profits while America goes dangerously off course.
Our government cuts deals in secret and spies on our allies and us while those who tell the truth about what’s happening are called traitors and lawbreakers and are forced into exile in foreign embassies and on Russian soil.
Where is the line between political and financial self-interest and America’s best interest? When did majority rule die? Can you even remember majority rule? How about American Democracy? Remember that? Our scholars tell us it’s dead.
What the hell are we?