Thursday, December 17, 2009

On my soapbox

I saw a story at the Daily Beast and, for some reason, I just had to vent:


"Hmmm... I've been disgusted and often angry at how things are in this country since I was old enough to understand there is injustice in this world.

I was pissed when John McCain lost to Bush II in the 2000 primary. I blew my stack after the BS Iraq war was foisted on the country and most of the public cheered for it.

Then I really blew my stack in 2004 when the unthinkable happened and it was proven that some 62 million people in this country are literally insane*.

As if this wasn't enough, in 2004 selfish, ignorant, prejudiced people all across the country in both the Democratic and Republican parties voted to deny equality to their neighbors, writing discrimination directly into their state constitutions, all so that marriage could be an exclusive right for their "kind" alone. Even more disgusting perhaps, this assault on gays and lesbians was a orchestrated out of mere political expediency to get Republicans elected, including "Dubya".

Over the past 10 years I've grown particularly disillusioned with how things are in this country. 2008 was an improvement. Finally, a presidential candidate who talks about the REAL problems in this country, who provided some REAL solutions to fixing some of them, and seemed to possess an ACTUAL motivation to implement some bold changes that the country truly needs.

It remains to be seen if he will deliver, hence part of the reason I'm still pissed off and disgusted, but no one else was even offering anything worth supporting. No viable presidential candidate in my lifetime really has until Barack Obama. Every election it's just more of the same BS that has flushed this country down the tubes for the last several decades...

I saw some of the worst of my country come out during that election, lies, propaganda, racism, xenophobia, paranoia, and just sheer ideological stupidity. But, I saw some of the best out of my country too as many folks rejected the failed philosophies of the GOP and the demagoguery of right-wing fascists disguised as "populists".

That aside, we're still in a sh*thole. And hell yes I'm angry about it. I'm outraged at the social injustice, the greed & corruption, the lack of ethics among our leaders, lack of accountability for authorities, lack of responsibility among most of the populace, the gridlock, the partisanship, the deliberate intellectual dishonesty generated by propagandists - both those on the left who want way too much central government control and those on the right who want to stop any and all forms of progress; let the privileged run amok and the less-advantaged fend for themselves.

I'm angry that our country has been sold out to the Chinese. We've built them into the powerhouse that they are, while sacrificing the strength of our own economy and building up their military prowess. And we've done precious little to improve their human rights record in the process. We, even our new President, obviously wouldn't want to inconvenience them because we've gone out of our way not to for a few decades now. And while we might have laid down a few ultimatums to them 20 years ago, even 10, we owe them too damn much money to demand they do anything now, 'cept loan us more money.

No problem, we even have Google and Yahoo to help them violate the basic civil liberties of their people. And Tibet, f*ck Tibet, they don't have $$$ and millions of warm bodies to provide the slave labor we need to produce cheap, poisonous crap that we don't need.

I'm angry because we've moved most of our manufacturing out of the country, and much of our technological jobs we were promised as replacements as well. Many decent jobs that were left in this country have been handed over to cheap illegal immigrant labor. Both screwing citizens and legal immigrants out of jobs and taking inhumane advantage of undocumented immigrants at the same time. All this to make obscene profits for corporations who continue to cut quality because they're not making enough money for their stock holders.

I'm angry because our economy has become based on mere consumerism - massive consumption of cheap, disposable products that aren't even made here. Agrarian? What's that? Sure, we have farms. Massive, industrial complexes that pollute the environment, poison the food, and abuse livestock in ways most of us couldn't even imagine is possible. On top of all this, more and more of the crops they grow don't even go in our stomachs anymore, they go to fill our gas tanks.

I'm angry because our country, particularly the middle-class, has been financially crippled by one economic bubble burst after another, each time our economy swinging wildly up and down like a rollercoaster. Each downturn one step closer to derailing the whole thing. And for this? We give the Rich & Reckless hundred billion dollar bailouts. Oh, but we can't interfere with their bonuses. Oh no, that would wreck the beloved "free market" that the Ayn Rand devotees love so much. Why, these Fat Cat, Wall Street scumbags might even quit their jobs if they don't get to make in one hour what a minimum wage earner makes in a year, and we couldn't have that!

What's our government's solution? Presidents Bush and Obama alike: give some of these Wall Street scoundrels jobs overseeing the economy. Brilliant!

Since Reagan we've ran up massive trade deficits and a gigantic national debt. And what have we bought with it? A military budget that far surpasses all other military budgets on the planet combined. A crumbling infrastructure. An education system that puts our kids behind countries that spend a fraction what we do on education. Over 75% of our oil consumption is dependent upon foreign sources. Much of this is based in a part of the world which has been an ethnic/religious tinderbox waiting to burst into flames. Oh, and now many of these countries have biological weapons and nukes.

Good thing we spent so much on that military. Oh, but, the military has been nearly exhausted to its breaking point from 10 years in Afghanistan, 8 of which was spent DITHERING! And an Iraq fiasco that was based on LIES!

Healthcare? We spend more than any other country while failing to cover some 30-40 million people, and yet many countries who spend less of their GDP on healthcare than we do insure ALL of their citizens and those visiting their country.

Liberals want a socialized universal system that seems totally impractical in a country like ours, conservatives want the privileged to keep paying outrageous premiums while everyone else just does without. I wanted a non-profit, member-owned insurance cooperative. We'll end up with a program that forces everyone to buy healthcare. Those that can't afford it? The government (taxpayer) will shell out. Private insurance companies gain tens of millions more customers paying those exorbitant healthcare costs. And all those savings we're supposed to see? Dream on.

I could go on and on and on but I won't. I've had my say. Got it off my chest.

Yep, I'm white and I'm angry. And for some of the same reasons that the Tea Party people are. But much of their solutions are ludicrous, a good chunk of their complaints are petty, their vitriol is largely misdirected, and some of their motivations... are just eerily fascist.

I think when many of these folks claim they want their "country back", they really mean that they miss the "good ol' days" when white, conservative, Christian, heterosexual people were entitled to much of the American dream, while everyone else was supposed to assume their god-ordained position keeping them there and to otherwise be seen but not heard.


* doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

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