Given a long and arduous problem with Century Link, plus
some pressing family issues, it has been sometime since I sat down and wrote a
serious blog. For those of you who have
persevered, I am honored by your loyalty.
As I have witnessed the progress (if you can call it that)
of the United States of America and where it is going to eventually lead us, I
can understand why there seems to be a climate analogous to a state of
apathy. But, easy as it is to
understand, there is a haunting sense of despair and hopelessness that I find
almost frightening. We seem to have
given up on so many pressing and important issues which lead me to remind
myself that nothing in this world is easy.
As I survey the layout of every aspect of what this country
is all about and what it is supposed to be doing for those who proudly call
themselves “American,” I cannot help but ask myself, “Where has the real
America gone, and for how long?”
There was a time in our history when we accepted that we had
to face challenges from time to time but, on the other hand, there was always a
sense that things would get better and we would be back in the swing of
things. That doesn’t seem to be
I cannot recall a time when we have taken such a cavalier
attitude towards the manifestation of so many or the least virtuous aspects of our
human nature. People are murdered as if
there is no conscience within the perpetrators.
Children and pets are left in motor vehicles with temperatures that
snuff the life right out of them, by adults who know full well what they are
doing. There is no end to the crimes
that are being committed, only to be summarily dismissed by those who bear the
guilt. The very moral fabric of what we
have treasured and respected as virtues of mankind are no longer relevant. It seems as if the credo we live by is, “Do
whatever you want; who cares?”
That we have a massively corrupt political and economic
system is self-evident. It is not
subtle, it is blatant and we just seem to yawn, shrug our shoulders and say to
ourselves and to those who will listen, so what is the big deal?
Not one banker or financier has been tried and sent to
prison for anything he did, and continues to do, in the wake of the last “great
recession.” None of them were held to
account for their egregious failure to take appropriate action, supported by
law, and to do all they could to act within the spirit of that law. Instead, the taxpayers of this country were
saddled with the cost of bailing them out, the political establishment passed
legislation that was, at best, a very soft slap on the wrist and the green
light to simply go after more of the taxpayers money! Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, do you stand for
anything? You ought to hang your heads
in shame before every voter and citizen of this country. Instead, you live like fat cats and only lace
your pockets with more money that does not, nor never did, belong to you. Are we to presume that this is the prize for
living the good life on the banks of the Potomac
Let us not forget the less subtle efforts of the likes of
Barack Obama, Timothy Geithner, Larry Summers, Bill Clinton, the Moguls of Wall
Street, the club of Billionaires and the legions of enablers in every corner of
government in the White House, the Senate, the House of Representatives, the
Federal Reserve Bank, the Supreme Court and the massive array of all the
lobbyists and insiders, none of whom give a hoot in hell about the average
Then there are the lesser known minions within the system,
as well. There are those who own and
control the press, the electronic news media, the entertainment industries, plus
the scions of business and industry too numerous to count.
There is the monopolistic two-party system that has managed
to convince the body politic that we are a real democracy of the people rather
than the reality of the plutocracy of the super rich that own and control every
aspect of our lives. And we so willingly
offer up whatever pittance they dare to claim as if they were somehow
descendants of the deity that created the universe.
Wake up America! Are you aware that two of the largest
repositories of gold in the world are China
and Russia? And we think we are “the wealthiest and most
powerful nation on earth? Get real. How does that square with our mantra and the
massive amounts of money that is squirreled away off-shore? How does this fit with the fact that the
plutocrats pay practically no taxes (thanks to those who so willingly aid and
abet them in government)?
Why are working-class Americans and labor unions under
constant assault because they want a fair share of the pie and the same
considerations that are so willingly given to the super-rich barons that cry about
over-taxation and the impending inability to compete in a fair market? All of this as our infra-structure crumbles
before our very eyes. All this as they
continue to ship jobs overseas while those who labor for a living sink deeper
into the mire of poverty, rely on food banks to survive, go without healthcare
and their kids are unable to get a better education because of the massively
huge interest rates charged for student loans by the government.
Now, let us take a long and hard look at society, in
Our appetites are created and fed by the huge and
uncontrolled entertainment industries, the advertising businesses, the erosion
of a moral base to guide us, millions of automatons who are no longer able to
converse with one another as they clamor for the next electronic device from
Silicon Valley so they can further numb down their minds and paralyze their
Basic reproduction, which we share with all other mammals,
is no longer possible without the aid of chemical enhancements that will
guarantee an erection on demand.
Moreover, we now have products on the market that will neutralize the
odor of the feminine equivalent, no doubt so it will be more acceptable to
those who have more exotic pleasures in mind.
Are you aware, as of now, that the new homes of today are,
on average, larger than they have ever been in the history of the United States? Just take the time to peruse the Real Estate
Section in the Sunday Section of your local newspaper.
Where is our real commitment to saving the planet through
more prudent use of carbon fuels? Just
look at the BNSF trains, owned by one of our most benevolent billionaires,
transporting massive amounts of coal and oil from the East and Upper Midwest to
the West Coast to be loaded onto ships for transport to the Orient, primarily China. Do those who are doing this to our
environment honestly think we buy into the notion that all of that coal and
oil, burned in the Orient, will pollute only their atmosphere while ours
remains squeaky clean and will do no harm to the air we breathe? It may be pretty to think so but, as Scarlet
O’Hara famously said, “Fiddle Dee Dee.
I’ll think about that tomorrow.”
And that, America,
is just what we will do. You can bet
those getting rich because of this mindset already know what the outcome will
be. Meanwhile, this “greatest nation in
the world” is crumbling right before our eyes.
This nation was created and sustained by the blood, sweat
and tears of people from every corner of the world and every place on the
globe. Their blood was shed on domestic
and foreign lands to ensure the survival and prosperity of this bastion of
freedom in the world today, such as it is.
From my perspective it needs a tune-up and a reassessment of just how we
handle and market what we have to offer to our own and to those from foreign
If all citizens are Americans, how come we have “Native”
Americans, “White” Americans, “African” Americans, “Latin” Americans, and all
sorts of other Americans distinctly identified by the countries from which they
or their ancestors came, or the color of their skin? Why are “White” Americans not offended by the
absence of “Heinz 57 Americans?” Why do
we have and perpetuate this disparity?
Frankly, I disagree with those distinctions and I find it offensive by the
fact that we use them every day just to separate those of color and other
cultures from the vestigial remnants of those of fair skin who came here to
expropriate the lands that rightfully belonged to those indigenous to what was
Why is it that those euphemistically referred to as
“Indians, Redskins and “Native” Americans have always been relegated to remote
areas of the country and to some of the poorest and least fertile land to be
had? Why have they, of all people, been isolated
in remote areas and forced to live in squalid surroundings with little more
than what was considered a “shack,” while others of European heritage were
welcomed with open arms? Why were so
many of them forced to walk hundreds of miles so their vacated homelands could
be re-settled by White Americans? Why
has their only chance for a quality education been relegated largely to missionaries,
churches and other charitable organizations?
Why have their lives been located in some of the most remote and hostile
geography in the country? Why were they
isolated and kept at a level of ignorance so they could be kept as second-class
citizens better known as “savages,” with little or no opportunity to be
integrated or exposed to those referred to “Whites?” To this very day the majority of them are
living in isolated parts of the country known as “reservations.”
(I am still inclined to believe that there is something to
the notion that the Indian Service harbored a secret agenda to ultimately
render them irrelevant so they would not have had to be reckoned with, and the
spoils of what they claimed as theirs would be there for the asking.) We have done as bad or worse more than once
in our history.
There is no economic base from which to forge a decent
standard of living and the skills needed to compete in today’s modern
world. Where are the resources,
knowledge and means from mega-corporations to lift these people from the
poverty that has become the only life they have ever known? Or were their jobs shipped overseas to
cheaper labor markets so the tribal leaders could make more money by
contracting them to foreign powers?
Who conceived of the idea of bringing “Bra ceros” into fertile
pockets of agriculture in the United States to work long hours in blistering
environments, forced to live in makeshift shelters, paid a mere pittance so a
more affluent and distant part of our society could enjoy some of the finest
produce grown and available at bargain prices?
Who among us made the fortunes that came from the backs of not only the
adults, but the children, as well? Why
did we come to resent them just because they felt they deserved a better share
of the spoils? Who said this was not and
is not “slave” labor? Moreover, why did
our own government not prohibit this blatant exploitation of the human
condition? Where was the hollow oratory
in Washington, D.C.
condemning the way they were treated. Moreover, where was the hue and cry over the
massive amounts of money they made for being good minions to those who put them
Who, I ask you, coined the phrase, “Liberty and Justice for All?” When one reflects on that for just a fleeting
few moments, it has a rather hollow ring, doesn't it?
From my perspective, all of those who live in lavish homes,
drive luxury cars, live sordid lives, engage in all sorts of obscene and vulgar
behavior contribute very little to the common good of this country. Their primary fixation seems to be more on
what they appear to be rather than on what they are. Image is more important than substance.
If we are to become what we allege to be for the consumption
of the rest of the world, we have a lot of work to do. We need to be what we say we are, and we must
disparage that which we abhor. We need
to have a sense of basic human decency; a sense of what is right vs. what is
wrong. We need to be less moved by what
others think and do than what we know to be honest and what we know to be just.
I can empathize with the hoards of people crossing our
Southern Borders, seeking a better life.
But I am disturbed by those who claim a higher purpose in life and summarily
dismissing the cost to our country, our economy and our way of life by ignoring
that there is no bottom to the cornucopia (translated to mean, “As long as I
have mine, I can afford to claim virtue by championing those who have nothing.”
For those who seem to have conveniently forgotten that a
price was paid, many times over, for what we hold near and dear to our hearts
in so many ways, and take for granted every waking moment of our lives. They need to take all of those who sneak
across our boarders to savor the “free lunch” here for the taking, so they can take
an excursion in order to view the thousands of graves created by the carnage of
WWI and WWII all across the globe. Then
tell them that is the price for what they are trying to savor, but for which
they have never paid the price. Remind
them that they need to go back to their countries of origin and do what it
takes in order to pay the same price for what they want from us free
There is a limit to how much of our national resources we
can summarily give away at the expense of all of those unseen and lesser beings
in our ranks who live from paycheck to paycheck, if they are lucky, or far less
if they are not. How much longer can we
delude ourselves into believing “it will never happen to us?” We have no alternative but to take care of
the least among us first. That should be
Perhaps our massively huge, bloated and wealthy corporations
whose gluttony is never satisfied, plus the military/industrial complex, could
pony up the spoils from their favored position in our economy to support the
cost of what it would take to change all of the despotic dictatorships into
bastions of freedom for all of the citizens of their country.
I dare say all of those who have been out of work for more
years than they can count would favor such a move. Then let us not forget all of those who
frequent food banks, shelters for the homeless and displaced, students who are
and continue to carry massive debits in order to pay for a college education that
should be rightfully theirs as a birthright.
We could probably afford a national health system that would
be the envy of the world.
We could probably afford a real social security system that
would sustain those who have worked a lifetime only to be allocated a pittance in
order to eek out a living in our world of monumental growth in fortunes,
personal wealth, corporate power, and corrupt financial and investment
We could probably afford a cesspool of all kinds of
diversionary activities that range from visceral pleasures, getting legally
stoned on a buffet of hallucinogenic drugs and other mind altering substances
that convince us we are something we are not.
There would be no limit to the number of “name brand” items
we could afford, more house than we need, the latest energy-inefficient motor
cars that we covet, not for transportation, but for the sheer hedonistic joy of
being able to flirt with the notion that we do, indeed, have it all. We can and will be able to rest assured that
those who have less will be green with envy at all we have. What more could one want?
We could live a life of complete indulgence, the limits to
our decadence and depravity be damned.
We could even re-define our deity on our own terms and in keeping with what
we have become.
In the end, we could mock every symbol that might convey a
sense of morality, decency and equality that we have ever known. The world would then be ours. We could indulge our every appetite with
abandon. We would be all that we ever
wanted to be and we would not have a clue as to how to right all those wrongs
that have come back to not only haunt us, but to own our very souls (for those
who believe in such things).
Then, as in days gone by, the curtain would come down and we
would see ………………
“That’s All Folks”
The Sagebrush Philosopher
September 30, 2014