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There’s an energy of some kind in the air. I don't seem to recognize or relate to much of the cultural movements and activities going on around me. It's rather frightening, almost like being an alien in what used to be home. Oh, technology's rapid evolution I find most challenging and I fumble around behind even a five-year-old. But it’s not frightening.
The economy has been better but it has also been much worse. It is coming around. I would imagine as we've evolved into a global market system in which other, now highly-developed countries, are providing staunch competition that it will take some getting used to. We've always been taught that America is the most powerful and best country on earth. We aren't used to serious economic competition and all the money being controlled by a few International banks and corporations. We certainly don't take lightly our engrained supremacy. It's why I think the NRA is such a powerful organization. If all else fails, shoot. Soon, trying all else won't even be a plausible action; just shoot.
Have you noticed how we banter around the word "war?" We have so many wars going on I question the culture's sanity. It seems we are compelled to keep at least one or two foreign wars going to bolster the manufacture of munitions; munitions, after all, being one of our biggest exports. I don't understand why we have to be beholden to the oil countries to supply our oil addiction. Why do we have to put even more stress on the Planet drilling holes all over the place? Why can't we just tell OPEC, “you want weapons? Then, lower the price of oil to the world-wide market! You want food for your people? Halt your projects on nuclear weapons and improve your schools. Pretty soon they wouldn't need the weapons because they’d be free of hunger, the children might just learn some common sense and there wouldn't be anything to fight about but religion. Oh, wait a minute . . . that's what started it all in the first place eons ago. Bad idea, I guess.
Back home, not to be outdone, we too, have our own war on religion in full swing, so we are told. We also have a war on women and a war on education and a war on unions and the middle class. Oh, and the ‘old’ war on drugs and war on poverty continue to escalate with no hope of winning in sight. We keep throwing money at it, keep building fences and safety nets but the battles remain lost. For the moment, at least, the war on illegal immigration is in somewhat of a lull because of the upcoming election. One candidate has gotten the message that he can't win without the Latino vote so the rhetoric has definitely taken a turn away from the Dream Act previously sworn doomed to veto during the primary.
Oh yes, we have a war on the politicians as well. Everyone is sick of them and apathy and anger grows. We occupy and protest, march and speak out, yell at town hall meetings, but nothing changes. Governors that can be, are facing recall elections and governors safe from them due to state law are running rampant over their constituents. My home state of Michigan has literally become a dictatorship within a democracy where entire communities are taken over by the state and one 'City Manager' out of the governor's pocket runs everything. The elected officials and the citizens' votes are now powerless and unheard. My home town of Pontiac, Michigan has fallen under the sword. Maybe it deserved to fall if not run properly but a dictatorship in America? Where will it end? Next, a local war will break out because the city council may decide to “Stand Their Ground.”
In Florida, a day doesn't pass that you don't hear the moaning and groaning about our crook governor Scott, but the state Constitution doesn't allow for recall. I guess the founders decided that if the voters are dumb enough to elect a known crook, they deserve to be stuck with him for the term. Some must have failed to do their research! Perhaps, that is something to think about as another election approaches.
Don't listen to the rhetoric. Don’t listen to the what they can and will do. Listen to they have done or tried to do then check it. It is going to get really ugly and lies and rumors of lies will fester. Lies, like wars, do tend to infect. If I listen to a speech, I'm going to have my laptop powered up and ready to fact check as they speak. A couple of days ago I heard Mitt Romney state that Senator Perry released only two years of tax returns when running in 2004 against GW. Later I learned that it seems he dropped a zero. The correct number was 20 years.
Just remember if the Mayan Calendar is wrong and we don't go hurling off into space on December 21, we are stuck with who we get for at least four years. I'm not ready to take too big of a risk and a pig in a poke. I think I'll stay with the slow, but steady, climb out of the pit we were in at this time four years ago. Unless, Congress grows up and ceases from playground warfare, it won't matter much anyway. There have been many job bills before congress to fix infrastructure and improve schools and job training, but the Congress, bent only on making him fail, nix everything. To do as much as President Obama has managed to do when from day one it was made perfectly clear by Mitch O‘Connel that the job of the Congress was to ensure he would be a one term president is pretty amazing. That's my opinion anyway.
What has happened to America? We have lost the most valuable resource required to advancing civilization. We have lost respect. We have lost respect for each other, for authority, anyone different, other nations, other life forms and the Planet. You name it. We have, to put it simply, lost respect for ourselves.
**Susan Haley is the published author of three books, several articles on networking, an award-winning poet, and an independent copy editor and book reviewer. The audio version of her novel "Rainy Day People" was awarded runner-up Finalist in the 2008 Indie Excellence National Book Awards. She also contributes a variety of editorials and excerpts of her work to various E-zines and newsletters and local papers.