Friday, September 23, 2011


Anger only begets more anger. Hatred feeds upon hatred. Self-interest leads to the self-serving.

There is a serious need to put the brakes on, America, and look at who we’re becoming. While the Middle East is full of countries where the people are asking for their voice and their vote—after years of our encouragement—we in the meantime are reverting to a nation of greedy shouters, calling out
“Everything for ME” or “I better grab mine before someone else gets it.” We are entitled to do whatever we please. Through our own self-involvement and self-interest, we are truly becoming a mean nation.

It starts with small things—pushing people out of the way on a subway car or running over someone’s foot with a double-wide baby stroller. But soon it escalates.

A man gets executed on Death Row because the verdict said so—despite the recanting by 7 out of 9 witnesses, the basis of the whole case, not to mention that there is a man who has openly bragged of doing the deed himself. The plea to reconsider from world citizens, ranging from Presidents to Popes, fell on deaf ears. Somehow, “reasonable doubt” seems an inconvenience in the face of ego, pride, and an attitude of “I made a decision, I can’t be wrong.” And so a possibly innocent man is killed by the judgment of other men.

A soldier who has served his country heroically in Iraq is booed by an audience when asking about the change in the DON’T ASK DON’T TELL policy. And that crowd response is cheerfully encouraged by the potential candidates for our next Commander-in-Chief.

Activities like raising the Debt Ceiling are decried by folks who swear that Ronald Reagan and their other past heroes were Gods—despite the fact that Reagan raised the debt ceiling more times in his administration than any other President. But then, these are the same folks who block this administration's attempts and then try to blame the current administration for not fixing the problems created by the previous administration. It’s not about trying to do the right thing. It’s about insisting on being the one who’s right.

And no ideologue seems to be blameless in this self-serving rush. Unfortunately, this egotism is the one thing that is truly bipartisan.

If you deserved equal land rights, rights to the land of your birth, and you had even been told you have equal land rights, then you might be upset if the area was continuing to be settled deliberately by others while the talks and negotiations are still going on—and those arbitrating were doing nothing to stop it. Yet we think it odd when people pursue official recognition of statehood at the UN in order to put the debate on an even keel?

Let’s go ahead and set up hydraulic fracturing around the reservoir while, after years of asking, we STILL don’t know the chemical compounds being used (proprietary, don’t you know, like the special sauce of a Big Mac), and there still is no consistent, effective method for cleanup of the waste products. After all, if there’s money to be made, why not make it now and ask questions about health and the environment later, when it’s irreversible?!

This “my way or the highway” cowboy-ism has recurred over many centuries. (Italy and the Fascists of WWII come most readily to mind.) There is something wrong when the freedom to pursue your dream, your rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, get trampled down into “Gimme mine and don’t let anyone get in my way.” Will it take a gigantic, cataclysmic slap in the face to get us to wake up and re-assess this shameful behavior? The Mayan 2012 predictions suggest not the end of the world but rather the end of life as we know it, the start of a new cycle. Perhaps there's something positive in that.

Anger only begets more anger. Hatred feeds upon hatred. Self-interest leads to the self-serving.