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http://tennessean.com/government/archives/04/03/48099754.shtml?Element_ID=48099754

Above is one of the more inane examples of why life really sucks right now.

Here's the thing. When people are unhappy, even the least little thing will annoy and provoke them to anger. It sure seems like there are a lot of unhappy people around here.

The joys of reality television and glossy gossip magazines can only divert the general population for so long. Eventually they'll come back around to their homes and/or the news stories of the day, they'll get depressed about the state of the world and the state of their personal lives and not really feel capable about doing anything to change it. Maybe they'll write to their representatives. Maybe they'll go shopping. Maybe they'll pray. The Status Quo wins again and the march towards the inevitable continues, unabated.

"Control the things you can," says the adage, but people are discovering that there's less and less that is in their control. Doesn't such frustration mean that we are heading for a new wave of violence? After all, when there are fewer and fewer choices to be had in their lives, frequently reactions explode, people are hurt, or worse, and those that remain have to clean up the mess... one more story for Tom Brokaw's final year on the air.

I still can't help but feel that in this time, the early part of this new millennium, we weren't supposed to be having a debate about "free speech." I mean, I thought we settled that in 1790! Why aren't we focusing on things that can help take us to the next level up? Why aren't we working to discover solutions to benefit the world as a whole become a more wonderful planet for everyone, rather than trying to alter one of the few things that had been working for over 200 years?

The United States has a history of doing insidious things to other countries in order to get what she wants. It goes all the way back to before this country was a country, and no one can deny it. Are the chickens coming home to roost? Or is there a way for us to play a positive role in the world again, as we did during the World Wars?

Or perhaps, that's actually what some are hoping for: another world war to allow the USA to demonstrate that military might, to boost the economy (since every war has done exactly that), and to make us look like heroes to our allies again, instead of being street-tough thugs who can run over countries the way we ignore the United Nations.

Our current Middle East policy will assuredly cost us thousands of lives, both military and civilian. It's already done so. But there will be no change in that. There's no battle if there's no "us v. them."

Admittedly there is no us v. them. We're all humans and we're all here. But the competition is what helps to create this illusion, this game that's being played to manipulate feelings, to control money, to inspire patriotism, to keep everyone in line. This is why Christianity has come to the fore so strongly! We are nothing like those heathens! Bombs away!

I guess I'm sounding like some sort of conspiracy theorist, but the timing sure is perfect.

Let's be fair. The other side is using the very same tactics to keep their people in line. To them, we are the reason their lives are miserable. They are being taught to hate all the things we stand for. So the game is on.

Back stateside, if we didn't have to take up such issues as a clearly unconstitutional bill (that passed the House by a fairly wide margin) to assess fines for "dirty language" against media outlets and the performers who appear on them, maybe we would have time to ask some questions. For example, no one has spoken of the communications breakdown that took place with the CIA that might have prevented 9/11. That's the dirty language that everyone should be calling for today. Instead, we have to rally the troops and defend the Constitution.

Lyndon Baines Johnson was another non-elected President from Texas who got us buried hip deep in a war that seemed crucial to the United States at the time, but probably shouldn't have happened. Sure, Vietnam seemed like the thing to do, since the US was trying to prevent a "Domino Effect" of communism across Asia. Just as, at the time, moving in on Iraq was the very thing needed to do in order to prevent more devastation and disaster across the Western world. All those Weapons of Mass Destruction could be used against us at any moment.

Back in the 1960s, we were simply not prepared for what was going to happen. There was no good way out of the situation, and patriotic pride refused to let politicians do an about face while there was an opportunity to do so with a minimum of human sacrifice.

This time, instead of a swamp, it's a desert, but the war is basically the same. We are attempting to "rescue" a group of people who want no part of our efforts. It is a no-win situation. Even if everything went according to plan (assuming there is a plan), we would still be despised by the people of that country, seen as carpetbaggers, outsiders, the enemy.

So, we are offering Iraq the freedoms that the USA has become famous for, while we are attempting to take those very same freedoms away from our own society. It's enough to make Alanis Morissette sing.

The truth is we aren't actually trying to "rescue" those people. We have our own agenda, our own vested interest in seeing things go the way we would like, just as we did in Vietnam. And we've got the $Billions and the cannon fodder to make sure that it does.

But checkbook diplomacy got us to where we are now. Forget your party lines. Every administration has screwed up in the Middle East. That may be due to the power and arrogance that the US has, being the strongest country in the world, dealing with these disorganized dustbowls. Why not just drop nets and carry everyone away to some island? Or might the rest of the world raise an eyebrow at that?

The future for all of us is in dialogue. It's in breaking down the barriers that we have constructed... not by force, but by word. No one is leaving, not the Christians, not the Jews, not the Muslims, not the Spanish, not the Iraqis, not the Americans. We are all here. Until we can get something bigger than a Mars Rover up there, we all have to share this place. We need a new policy. We need a change. We need it now.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
ravenfeather
Mar. 14th, 2004 05:11 am (UTC)
still can't help but feel that in this time, the early part of this new millennium, we weren't supposed to be having a debate about "free speech." I mean, I thought we settled that in 1790!

This is a very well spoken post, but I am choosing to ignore it in the main, because the above statement struck a chord with me. Back in the seventies I was shocked to come out of my small military world into the wider... but narrower world of college and find prejudice on the level that I did. My thought at the time was.. "we fought this decades ago, why are we still fighting the same battle here and now?"

We as people tend to repeat the same mistakes, refuse to learn the same lessons over and over and over again. That is where the historical cry of "Lest We Forget" came from, in an attempt to keep *insert issue of the crier here* in the forefront of collective conscious so we WON'T repeat the same mistakes. Unfortunately it hasn't worked yet. ... or has it?
penpusher
Mar. 14th, 2004 02:30 pm (UTC)
The problem is that parents teach their children what they believe to be true. This is why prejudice is still an issue now!

It's held all of us back and wasted energy that would have been better spent discovering that stress causes cancer and prejudice is one of the leading causes of stress!

Maybe.

I think some people are getting the message, but as we can see, it's not even a quorum yet. Maybe in the next few decades?
ravenfeather
Mar. 14th, 2004 04:16 pm (UTC)
a few millennia perhaps, I share your view that it is parenting or society that passes down erroneous or less than helpful beliefs. It is societal behavior to want others to believe what we believe.. as confirmation that we are "right"... it just seems that the .. lower thinking end of society is the one that breeds the most.

You may have hit the head on the nail with that stress cancer thing though. There are those who believe that illness is an indicator that things are not balanced within the body. That it isn't disease.. it is DIS ease. *shrug* Lots of people live in areas where that belief is common, who knows?
melaninjitsu
Mar. 14th, 2004 06:11 am (UTC)
One of my...no, my all time favorite movie is "Brazil". Since 1985 I have felt that the world is headed for being one big Britain. Where nothing is right but everything is clean. On the surface.

Things do change. All the time. They eithetr change fomr the top by choice, or from the bottom -- by revolution. It's not always ABOUT guns and camo. Sometimes it's about standing up and smacking someone.
penpusher
Mar. 14th, 2004 02:31 pm (UTC)
As Thing said... "It's Clobberin' Time!"
sybilhawthorne
Mar. 14th, 2004 07:21 am (UTC)
my favorite part of that article:

''One of my biggest concerns is the safety of children who come to Main Street,'' she said. ''I'm afraid they could chase the bubbles and get hit by a car or hit their heads on the corner of a building.''

apparently the children in that town are COMPLETE MORONS and need to be babied. they cannot resist the temptation of floating bubbles and lose all common sense when they see them. and apparently there are not any parents around to watch the children to make sure they are not mesmerized by the bubbles.

sheeeeeeeesh people.
penpusher
Mar. 14th, 2004 02:35 pm (UTC)
I think the message there is that morons give birth to more of the same!

I suppose there might be a scenario where a kid might chase a bubble into the street, but we're presuming that any kid young enough to blithely dash into traffic will be there with a parent or guardian, so it wouldn't happen.

We can't even have bubbles in this country!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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