Greetings and Salutations!
America continues to prove me wrong! As I have mentioned in various other posts, just when I think that we have FINALLY hit the bottom of the barrel, and, can turn around, some segment of American society steps up to prove me wrong. Let me touch on an example or three (right after I double glove with Nitrile gloves, as it is pretty nasty).
1) On one of the CNN talking heads programs earlier this evening (Anderson Cooper, 360) I was presented with video from the pep rallies put on by a couple of would-be candidates for governor of Texas, one man, and one woman. They were similar in that they both said that they hated the American flag, and what it stood for, and, if elected governor, they would secede from the Union! Now, it has been a lot of years since Social Studies in High School, but, to the best of my recollection, both of these speeches skirted perilously close to treason and conspiracy to commit…. while it is a great catch phrase to say that you remember that the tree of liberty has to be watered with the blood of patriots, I think that this is totally ignoring the cost of that Civil War, both in terms of lives and in terms of scarring the psyche of America. As I watched this report, I had to ask myself what in the world were these wastes of space thinking? It has been 150 years since the Civil War was fought, and they are aligning themselves with the losing side! While Texas is a large state with many resources, I do not think it is possible for it to exist as a separate country and make a success of it. I am sure that these two folks were fringe politicians who were playing to the choir, and actually have no real chance of taking the state. I am also sure that , if, by some unlikely chance one of them was elected, that secessionist speech would vanish so quickly there would be a little clap of thunder from the air slamming into the vacuum where the words were at. Still, the fact that they could produce such inflammatory speech, and, have a somewhat sizable audience to applaud them for it does not make me confident that America will survive the internal rot that I have ranted about before, and, is moving folks to believe that the states will be stronger if separated than they are together in a Union.
2) The people that have achieved an "easy street" job by getting elected to Congress (remember…a 95% or so retention rate!), continue to become more blatant in their lies and political games. For example, one of the congress-critters was on the floor of the House a day or so ago, and, (with a straight face) reported that Planned Parenthood was nothing more than an abortion mill, with about 90% of their business being said abortions. The actual number is close to 3%, with the remaining 97% being such things as PAP smears, mammograms, and other aspects of female health. Again, this was reported on the Anderson Cooper show…and, when his staff contacted the congressman’s office to ask them about his speech and that section of it, they were told that the Congressman’s comments were not intended to be factually true, but, were an example! And yet, here this representative is, at the podium in the House, quoting this number with no sign of explanation that it was "an example" and not a real statistic! This bit of theatre demonstrates the level of contempt that our so-called "elected representatives" have for the folks that voted for them. either that, or it proves that Dubya was correct in the commencement speech he gave partway through his administration where he said that there WAS hope for "C" students.
3) Having averted the crisis of shutting down the government by a stop-gap bill passed at the last moment this last Friday, the Republicans are working to help out their rich buddies again, and, not in a particularly subtle way! They are cutting the programs that have some small benefits for the poor and working poor (and, these days, even the middle-class) here in America, and, promoting huge tax cuts for their rich buddies! Then, they have the audacity to imply that it is possible for some double-wide dweller, who barely can make their monthly rent to join those rarified ranks of the folks that make (or whose net worth is ) more than 95% of the rest of the citizens. What a joke! And, the really sad thing about it is that there are a big percentage of the working poor that DO believe this lie, and so are motivated to keep supporting the Republicans in their quest to reform American business regulation to remove as many limits on what those businesses can do as is possible. Now, that being said, I do agree that the Federal government’s spending seems out of control. Year after year, the representatives in Congress show no signs of financial responsibility, but, rather spend money like a drunken sailor. That is one of the reasons that we have a deficit of over a trillion dollars! Note that this is not the total amount we have overspent, but, simply the difference between the money that is coming in, and the amount being spent. Here is a link to an excellent page that shows the debt piling up on each of us taxpayers: http://www.usdebtclock.org/ Note, especially, that the total debt per taxpayer is over $123,000 dollars now. I do not know about YOU, but, that is an impossible number for me to pay off, even if it were possible to do so. This lack of fiscal responsibility is another symptom of that unbridled consumerism that marks America and is part of that rot. There is no concept of "doing without" these days – rather the idea is take all that they can get and do not worry about the consequences. Another point here is that I have heard the amount cut from the budget this last Friday is a "meaningless amount" or, "Chump Change". I agree that, as 3% or so of the total budget, it is not going to make a huge difference, but, from an absolute point, it IS 3 BILLION dollars…which from an individual’s standpoint is a big chunk of change. Shucks…if I were to be gifted with even 1% of that amount, I could live comfortably for quite some years.
4) Finally (although I could go on), there is Donald Trump! having played the power game in NY, NY as long as possible he is bored with it, and, has decided to throw his hat into the ring to run for president. What’s his platform? Well, hard for me to tell, as I have heard nothing about what he wants to accomplish. However, I have seen him on several "talking heads" programs, going on at length about how he has growing doubts that Obama was born in the U.S….yep, he is a birther now! In spite of much evidence to the contrary, he is claiming that, because the official document about Obama’s birth does not say "Birth Certificate" on it, then, it is a faked document and means nothing. His message is very clear though…he is saying "Don’t re-elect this FOREIGNER to be President…elect a REAL American – ME!" It may be sincere, but, it smells like it has some racist roots to me. I would say to the birthers, who have been foaming at the mouth over this for close to four years now – Give it up, and, move on to trying to build something good in America, instead of just tearing down everything. If, after all this time, they have not been able to find definitive proof that Obama was not born in America, it makes me think that there IS no credible evidence to prove his foreign birth. In short – Get OVER it and try to turn your attention towards building America back up, instead of tearing it down. Pres. Obama is a good face for America, in that he is intelligent, witty and articulate, and represents America well in the world. After the previous administration, we, as a people, really need this.
Bee Man Dave