Since I last wrote, I've become unemployed - again (anybody need a UNIX Man For All Seasons, a session keyboardist/guitarist/mandolin player/singer, a freelance artist?) and have spent weekends working down at Casa de Fruta, just north of Hollister, CA, as the manager of the Brass Rubbings booth. It's been my first interpersonal outlet in four years. Wow, I'd forgotten what social fresh air felt like!
In other news. Well, the world is a huge mess, which is something I'm going to attempt to address in this page. Perhaps I do complain and not act; I'm never sure what I can do to make this world a better place. Just being myself doesn't seem to be enough for the people who want to see the world change for the better, and it's too much for the people who are changing it for the worse. It seems I cannot win this one. Full speed ahead, then...as usual, comments and queries are accepted.
So, what are we doing?
Okay, clue me in here. Let me make sure I have my facts straight, first.
- The President wants to wage war, full-scale, on Iraq.
- The President wants to continue, indefinitely, a war on terrorism which will probably be ultimately as successful as the war on drugs, which has proven to cost untold sums of money and has only served to further the purpose and profit by the religious right.
- The economy in the tech industry continues to slump, and the job market in every other industry on the face of the planet has seen a glut of people who are eminently unqualified to enter any other industry, and so they are stuck, with no help forthcoming on cross-training for any occupations which will sustain them and their families. But I digress.
We're doing this why, exactly? Whatever happened to Osama Bin Laden? Whatever happened to focusing on the initial threat of terrorism which brought down the twin towers?
Hello? Anyone? Bueller? ...Bueller?
So, okay, we're preparing to engage in a full-scale assault on Iraq. Does anyone else find it suspicious that we're doing this in a mid-term election year?
...how about that the figurehead who is "initiating" the action happens to be the son of the last President who went after Iraq?
And what of Bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda? What's up with them?
...and who's funding them?
I'm sure you're all familiar with the practice of arson by firemen who are out of work and have nothing to do to fill their time. They set fires in the hopes that they'll be called to help deal with it. These fires claim the homes and, in some form or other, the lives of the very people the firemen are supposed to be protecting. Untold damage is done. Materially, it's a drop in the bucket. 80% of everything is replaceable. The things that are not replaceable are the photographs taken years ago, the memories of growing up in their houses, or the memories of spending summer vacations in "the place that used to have trees".
By comparison, does anyone else find it so completely and totally out of the question that the Al-Qaeda is still alive and kicking and in our country and is probably turning into something of an inside operation?
Face it. Our government is a bored entity, for some stupid reason or other. If they can't get their jollies out of eroding our civil liberties, or of getting in the face of the Mommenpops who define the very character of our country, what we used to stand for, they're going to take us to war, like it or not.
I think Roosevelt knew about Pearl Harbor before it happened.
I think our current administration -- and its father's -- knew about 9/11/2001 before it happened.
Throwing a war is a dicey proposition. In Roosevelt's case, he threw us into the war, and it worked. We rebounded from the worst economic circumstance this country had ever seen to become the mover and shaker of the latter half of the 20th century.
Whomever decided to toss us into Viet Nam made a VERY poor choice. We had no public support for that war in the lower eschalons.
In Bush Sr.'s case, the net effect of us attacking Iraq was null, and the Cold War was over already by that time.
In Bush Jr.'s case, economically, it didn't work. Our economy was just seeing signs of possibly recovering and thriving again, and it wasn't 9/11 that kicked us down again. It was our declaration of war, that we were going to pursue the terrorists until we stopped them, regardless of the cost, I think, that has kicked us down again.
The fact that our current administration is technophobic isn't helping matters, either.
...so why, exactly, again, are we going after Iraq?
To gain a foothold "over there" and take over the planet, bit by bit by bit?
I'm going to say something that many people will not like to hear.
I hope we lose this war we're starting. I hope we lose it in a big way -- big enough to force us to close our doors and regroup internally. Big enough to show us that we're NOT the greatest nation on the planet, and big enough to show us that we need to take care of the things with this country which are seriously wrong on all levels.
Economically, we need to bring the costs of education, health care and livable housing back into line with reality. The minimum wage keeps going up, but the cost of living rises exponentially in comparison.
Ecologically, we need to start pursuing alternate forms of energy with a vengeance.
Spiritually, we need to stop exerting a Puritanical stranglehold on any beliefs which are non-conforming.
Morally, I think we need to practice what we preach.
Ethically, we need to stop promoting big business while squashing the little guy.
I'm going to digress. I may or may not return.
I saw something posted by a friend of mine recently. It had to do with a cross-talk of God in/out of public places and child discipline in/out of the hands of the parents and the people who have to raise them.
Personally, I think that the two have nothing to do with each other. God doesn't belong in our state-run places. Spirituality is a very personal thing. I won't fault you for believing in your God, or worshipping him or whatever, so long as you don't come around my house with an angry mob with pitchforks and torches "in the name of God". Take responsibility for your own actions, please.
Discipline is another matter. We've come to coddle our children, catering to their every whim. "Physical discipline is bad," we are told. Well, to a certain extent, sure. Getting rapped on the hand with a ruler isn't right at all -- that's seriously damaging. (Of course the insult is that it's because your child is evil for writing with the left hand!). On the other hand, a spanking or a very firm talking-to followed by a very firm placement into a time-out spot is not at all out of line.
The Government does not see things this way. They have taken all the teeth out of parental and community discipline. It's all well and good for us to say "Now, Johnny, don't punch Kevin," and "Now, Andrea, don't pull Katarina's hair", isn't it? But you can't give their butt a whack if they're really uncontrollably out of line to the point where nothing else will register. That's "child abuse" and can land you in hot water with Health and Human Services, the Child Protection division.
I have words for this, and I'm enough of a gentleman not to print them on this page, but the literal translation equates to "Feces from the Bovine of the Male persuasion".
Needless to clarify, but I will anyway, I'm not a big fan of "hands-off management" of children. We must be allowed to set some very hard guidelines for them that they must not cross. It seems hypocritical to say "Don't hurt someone" and then turn around and smack the kid, but we're not doing this to hurt them as much as we need to be able to get their attention and show them that this is not right. If you're spanking the kid to hurt them, to show you're stronger than they are, or out of anger, you're not doing it right.
We've spent a generation and a half in hands-off child-rearing. What DO we have to show for it? Although childrearing isn't the only issue at hand, here, it's a contributor to the cause. We have gangs, violent career criminals at levels the country hasn't seen since the era of prohibition, and they end up in this way because nobody had the authority at that time to demonstrate the difference between right and wrong.
Another reason that we have this happening to our children is because we don't have the money to survive in this nation anymore. Most households are double-income households, and because the divorce rate is skyrocketing, they are turning into single-provider households, the head of EACH, now, which must achieve an income double that of which they had been earning just to cover the cost of the living space (they EACH have one now, remember!), as well as the fact that both sides are still paying for the children in one way or another.
We now have nobody at home to watch the children.
And there is no money forthcoming to help care for the children after school because we're all away working to support them and pay taxes which are supposed to be going to the programs which would help care for them after school, but the taxes aren't going there...
BECAUSE THEY'RE ALL GOING TO SUBSIDIZE THIS BLOODY STUPID WAR THAT OUR PRESIDENT AND OUR CONGRESS THINK IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN LEADING AND BUILDING A NATION OF ENRICHED, ENLIGHTENED INDIVIDUALS WHO COULD ADVANCE THIS PLANET INTO A REALM OF PEACE, PLENITUDE AND GENERAL HARMONY!
(ha! I came back!) What is UP with this!?!? Why is the Bush clan SO OBSESSED with this whole Iraq thing, forgetting about their original cockamamie plan against Osama Bin Laden, that they can't see that this conflict is going to result in the death of a country which was based on tenets far nobler than they could ever perceive?
...did I just answer my own question?