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Monday, July 4, 2011

Our better world

I want to wake in a better place.

Why is it that I can no longer remember what it was like to open morning eyes and not step out from some nightmare landscape? I remember a time when the sun lit the beginnings of my day. I remember moments of perfect timeless peace – everything accomplished behind me, and so much time in front that I felt almost immortal. I remember those times, but I no longer remember what it felt like.
How did we come to this place, where every piece of news is mean and dark-spirited? So many people seem so lost and the only answers we get from our country’s leaders are distortions, half-truths and often, just lies.

It would be nice to live again in summer of our youth, where sand and salt wind and the calls of gulls reminded you every moment that you were forever alive and free.

Instead the news reports scream about higher and higher job losses, continual scams and scandals, natural and unnatural disasters and the horrors we would visit upon each other. Alarmists use a debunked global climate change as reasons to keep stealing from the people. Massive corporations seem suspiciously involved in tremendous webs of corruption and monumental amounts of taxpayer money have sifted into hidden places while lawmakers benefit. States are going bankrupt, promises are broken and new taxes and laws threaten to drown the people still barely afloat in a drowning economy.

So where is our better place?

Like some kind of never-never land, it all seems to be just beyond the starlight – always promised and hoped for, but never realized. Like the carefree years of our youth, our better, stronger country seems beyond our reach and looks to only reside in our memories or our imagination.

But there is always a road back from the hard places. Redemption is just beyond our belief in our selves, and our own powerful creativity and ingenuity. We can find clarity and purpose and beauty if we discard fear and the eventual anger and hate it spawns. We can become the shining city again, but we must stop the push for greater regulation and government control of our lives’ smallest details.

I know the place where the sun still warms our future. We can wake there and we can walk there and we can feel the breeze of liberty on our faces. I imagine we will see each other in that golden light, and we will nod and smile knowingly. We will talk about the times when things were hard and dark, but we won’t be able to remember what it felt like. We’ll laugh when we speak  and we’ll know that our children and grandchildren are going to grow up in a better world than we did; that they will be happy and secure and filled with truth and compassion.

We created it once - and walked barefoot there - in a time of pinball and cotton candy. Tall ships once gathered to celebrate our country's centennial. We will never see that again in our lifetime - but someone will. And perhaps their generation will see a country where flags fly proudly in front of almost every home. Their community will once again be whole and not fractured. Their world will be a place where compassion and love always wins - and where belief and honor do not need to be questioned.

It is the place where war is unnecessary and sadness, horror, sickness and hunger is lessened and maybe eliminated forever. It’s the place where we can meet old friends and know that each passing day promises we may meet new ones. It is a place of heroes.

I want so bad, to continue to believe in our noble home of the brave.

I want to wake to a better place. And if I do, I’ll wait for you, and we’ll walk there together.

-We the People

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Death panel


One hundred peaceful protestors were blocked from FDA offices Tuesday in an attempt to protest the removal of a vital breast cancer treatment drug from its’ approval lists – an action which would make treatment with the drug impossible for all but society’s elite.

It is one of the first and most complete examples of a “death panel” in operation.

The scene in front of the FDA complex highlighted the continued slip of America from a republic into something resembling a police state. The protestors clad in pink, carried signs  - those facing them carried weapons and were clad in combat uniforms.

The leader of the group, who’s wife is battling cancer, continued to repeat through a bullhorn, “we will obey the law.”

And yet, stone-faced, the Homeland Security detachment faced them – finally allowing one of them through to speak to officials after he obeyed requirements to set down his sign and bullhorn.

The process of withdrawing approval for the drug Avastin is called “unlabeling.” By unlabeling the drug, insurance companies are relieved of their obligation to pay for treatment. So, even though people suffering from cancer have paid high premiums for the coverage, with the help of the FDA, the rules can be changed, and the expensive treatments will be witdrawn.

Those who would have been saved by the drug will face terrible deaths in one of the first examples of administrative government-approved killings.

I have a couple simple questions for the reader: First, why face the group of 100 regular citizens with an overwhelming, fully armed police force and demand that the leader of the protest put down his sign and communications and come in alone? Second – and more importantly; how far does one go in “obeying the law,” when to do so means nearly certain death at the hands of the “law?”

It would seem people have become very good at obeying commands from faceless corporate and government commanders and commandos, but are less able to see how much has been taken from them – and do something real about it.

Until, of course, they take everything away – and then, it no longer matters.

Wednesday, the FDA panel convened to consider the unlabeling, ruled In-favor of it – a decision which if given final approval by the FDA Commissioner, will give insurance companies a big fat paycheck – blood-money for the death of untold numbers of Americans.

One last request of the reader: Define evil.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pride and shame

I once served in the Honor Guard for the 501st Tactical Missile Wing. This was a unit based at the famous Greenham Common in Britain. Our duty was to deliver 96 nuclear cruise missiles to Russia in the event the Cold War became hot.

It didn’t.

One day, the base was called to a briefing to discuss the end of the mission – and a new beginning without the threat of the Soviet Union. There were maybe a thousand people filling a massive building. The Honor Guard had been asked to bring the room to attention. That task was probably more appropriate for the Master Sergeant in charge of the Guard – but he passed it to me. I guess I had a loud mouth. I was a little nervous. The sound from the room was deafening – people talking and laughing and at first, no one noticed as I walked down the center of the room, posted, and carried out the order.

In a split second, everything stopped and everyone came to attention. I did an about-face and walked out – and the U.S. and RAF Commanders came in.

I remember a feeling of pride. We had accomplished an amazing mission. In some small way at least, the threat of our mobile system may have forced the hand and hastened the collapse of the Communist government. And there were other “moments” during the final years of the 501st: There was Eisenhower Day, when I marched the American Flag in a color guard, down the center of Newbury. I had bought new boots for this specific day – straight out of the box and completely unblemished, they were peeling the back of my heels off my feet and filling with blood. I was aware of the situation, but much more aware of the old British men in black suits, lining the streets as we passed, their chests decorated with medals from a long-ago war, where we, the Americans came to the assistance of Britain. Together, our countries had won a war, which saved a world. My color guard performed perfectly that afternoon.

“Pride” is too small a word to cover such a feeling on a day like that.

So to hear of Associations in America, taking veterans to court for flying U.S. flags in their front yard – it infuriates me. A good writer should be objective and impartial. I am afraid, today, I cannot be a good writer.

Today I read about a 77-year-old veteran of Vietnam, who has been told by the homeowner association that the U.S. flag flying in his front yard, violates the rules of the property. This is occurring right now in Macedonia, Ohio. Apparently, there are not enough patriots there in that town to stomp mudholes in the idiots that make up the Association’s board.

Yesterday I read about another Homeowner’s Association in Evans, Georgia, which withdrew approval for a house to be built for a seriously wounded veteran to be erected by the national organization “Homes for our Troops." The house, which was to be specially adapted for SFC Sean Gittens was initially blocked because the association wanted a second story, as well as 700 square feet added to the plan. SFC Gittens was left paralyzed and unable to speak as a result of an aneurism linked to traumatic brain injury resulting from multiple concussive traumas during his Iraq service from April 2007 to April 2008.

As of June 24th, however, after continued heat, the Association in the way of Gittens’  new home, folded under the pressure, asking for more shutters and other architectural changes, but not the additional floor space. The family hasn’t yet responded back.

In absolute fury over both these situations, I can only say that it is precisely these sorts of things, which diminish all of us. Are some silly neighborhood rules worth more than the history and majesty of the U.S. Flag? Are these effete snobs, which make up these organizations, worth even one man such as SFC Gittens? Where were they – and what were they doing, when Gittens was serving the country?

What a source of pride – America.

What a source of shame.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What do you see?


Look at the sky and clouds on a perfect day.
Somewhere else, that same view resonates like a kind of emotion, deep within another soul on the other side of the world.

But in our day-to-night lives we can’t see that.

Vibration in sound, familiar to so many, is unfamiliar when thought of as existing inside someone else. Sight and sound and even belief seem so obvious to us when we see ourselves in dreams and life, all the time accepting the lie that each of these things is separate. And that makes us alone.

And still we can’t see that.

Lay on your back in the cool grass as a child and look up at the sky – let memory take you there even now. Such peace connected to such longing. What shapes do great winds and water make in their wrestling, somewhere so far above you? Your skin tingles against the green and the Earth presses up against you and through you. From the void, solar winds and cosmic stuff so ancient it can remember creation itself,, move so fast, through everything. They don’t even know you are there, but they carry through the vast reaches and the clouds and the droplets so far above – with hopes to someday be rain - and having seen so much of the universe, they still become part of us, and we are connected to everything.

And we don’t see that.

The strata of stone and bone and lost civilizations beneath us hide impossible knowledge, and the stars, so far away can be our friends, even though they hide from us during the day. Somewhere else, in a different philosophy, they are friends too. We appear to each other – but we cannot see beyond the surface, and so only ever see color and shape and the lies of skin and clothes and unfamiliar faces. It is easier to believe in the fiction of a world in revolution around us, than to feel the alien texture of connection – and we certainly don’t want to see that; especially reflected within ourselves.

But we kill and cut and bleed and grasp for more – and we name all these things, as if by naming them we can give them order and reason and control.

Half a world away a child can’t sleep because she is too hungry – and down the street someone who was once relied upon to die for you if necessary – lays dying finally, in some forgettable room where so  many others have left this world without seeing the sky one last time. They can’t eat even though they are hungry, and they know even that won’t last – there’s a kindness there they can finally understand. No one will come to see them. Across the street someone has been given a final date – and another street over, someone has been given a different kind of date; and dread is their common thread.

And so many certainly don’t want to see any of that.

Squeeze your hands in that distant memory. Feel the Earth give way beneath your fingers, understanding the connection, perhaps – or in a moment, allowing a kind of gift. But that gift is connected through the sunlight and air and cloud and back again to other hearts and minds in so many distant places, you would never be able to speak their names. Yet the stuff of ancient peoples and even older things forgotten fills our hands, cool against the skin and we can almost feel a tear willing itself into being.

I talked to a woman once in Africa. She was a doctor, but so many had died, filling her hands with their fading  heat, her soul had eroded. So many mysteries were gone for her – so many hopes now replaced by oblivion’s comfort. She couldn’t imagine anything else because for her, the sky was only something she had to walk under on the way to hear more screams, smell more blood and witness more death.

She couldn’t see anything else anymore.

What is the greater despair? Is it more terrible that it seems like nothing can be done for the lost and tired? Or is the greater horror that so many of us could do so much – and refuse – instead focusing our short lives on the purposeless continuance of hate and hurt.

We can cut each other down to make ourselves seem bigger for just a moment – or we can recognize the infinite connections being made even now without us, and reaching out, become more than ourselves. We can leave our mark or we can become more than that. Sound and shape and touch all resonate in a shared world waiting just beyond each of us – and we don’t have to be alone. Tie your destiny to that of someone else and you together, become greater than you could standing alone. Add a third and a fourth and eventually we can all reach a greater destiny beyond the breeze and the clouds and the shores of that distant sea in which our world – a tiny island, is much less than a speck.

We can reach beyond all of it.

And today I wondered if anyone could see any of that.


Friday, June 10, 2011

The VA health care system - from a veteran's perspective

Back when I was a newspaper reporter, I considered the work to be sacred in a way.

Work as a real reporter is not the sensationalized headline hunting, self-promoting disgrace it has devolved into these days. A real reporter reports the truth and attempts to be unbiased – actually goes to great lengths to be unbiased. A real reporter covers the news and provides information others cannot get access to. A real reporter is a prize fighter, often without any prize (and usually without much of a salary).

But that’s about the responsibility involved in the job. I want to talk to you about the glory of the thing.

The glory of reporting is that, while you may sometimes feel like Don Qixote de la Mancha, you are not always simply “tilting at windmills.” On occasion, the windmills get their ass kicked.

I lived for that moment. I didn’t like to hurt people, but where there was an injustice which could not be addressed any other way … in fact, where the long arm of the law wasn’t long enough – I could reach the sucker. And when I got to them – with training and experience in a variety of fields, they felt like they’d been truly touched.

And so, I would like to introduce to you a concept, which is due:  This is the unveiling of a new blog.  Those veterans out there are going to like this – especially New Mexico veterans.

I am about to begin a new blog dedicated to the review of VA services from the perspective of a New Mexico veteran. For those who work at the Veteran’s Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico, get ready. You’re going to love me even more than you do now.

I will make a regular report on initiatives made by the New Mexico VA Health Care System – and the response to these initiatives by veterans in the hallways and waiting rooms of the hospital complex. I will draw on my own experiences for this, but I will try to keep the reporting on those experiences unbiased. Where possible, I will provide you names and offices and phone numbers for sources. Where possible, I will give individuals the opportunity to respond to my articles. But, in the end, you will have a ground-level view of how a veteran’s medical facility treats soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines returning or returned from the battlefields of the world.

You will often be disgusted by what you see and read here. And you will no doubt also experience the entire gamut of other emotions. Because those who knew me as a reporter and news editor of a daily, knew one thing for certain: there was no escape. If you deserved a look by me or the other reporters, it would be hard and uncompromising – and it would be fair. Good things happen in many of these places as well as the bad things.

I know why this kind of thing is not often done. On the one hand, it is often the case that the doctors, nurses and administrators who work there really are doing their best. They are in a high-stress job and aren’t often appreciated or thanked. But they do get their share of difficult patients. On the other hand, people fear reprisals. Veterans are often very sick and their injuries are serious. Private insurance typically will not cover their chronic service-connected conditions – and the VA is the only chance they’ve got, to lead a halfway normal life. They don’t need a massive organization of nameless, faceless administrators and functionaries descending on them like locusts. They are scared.

I am not.

I am a former USAF sergeant and a graduate of the Defense Information School, trained in Public Affairs. I am a better PA person than the character they have working for them. I am a reporter, editor and author. And I am a traditional martial art teacher of 20 years experience.

I will tell you folks who treat veterans poorly in my backyard, quite simply now, what is coming for you – it is what I promised to insect politicians and their like when I began writing the Jolly Rogers a few years ago…

My wrath may not seem real from your lofty positions. You may feel yourselves to be untouchable, but make no mistake I am coming for you.

I am coming for you all.

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The blog about the VA health care system from a veteran’s perspective will be announced here on the Jolly Rogers, when it is set up. Watch for it. As there are  further developments, I will report on them here until that new site is up and running.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Eugenics


Eugenics.

If ever there was a subject you might wish to keep relegated to the pages of paperback sci-fi, this is it. It should be in a special dictionary, where it can’t run the chance of infecting other words, more wholesome – or just not as horrible to contemplate. One might imagine this word accompanying others, such as genocide, rape, etc., into the pages of a black book with even blacker pages.

Maybe then, with our language purged, the concepts would not be so easy to access. But I know that is wishful, fanciful thinking. In the real world, monsters don’t need a vocabulary. They just do what they do best – and in the best outcomes, we catch them and electrocute them… like bugs in that blue lit zapper on your back porch.

Killers, unrepentant terrorists, homicidal maniacs – skin-walkers of every description – and we know the names of the big ones: Pol Pot, Hitler, Stalin, Bin Laden – so many, we couldn’t list them all if we tried. Still, we put them down like the rabid creatures they are, when we find them – usually.

Of course, if the skin-walkers are discovered nestled happily within our own government, then the hand-wringing begins. But that process of political correct mumbling only starts after the damage has been long done – either by shuffling minions including lawmakers, lawyers, judges, doctors, police officers, city and county administrators … basically everybody you are told to trust and believe, and obey.

To hell with them – that’s my sentiment.

They just didn’t all make it there. Consider North Carolina.  This is a state chock full of lovely museums and attractions, like the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, featuring this month, an art gallery of watercolor paintings, and a soon-to-be-displayed exhibit on expanding oceans.

Or you may enjoy the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center! Get your tickets to learn about the “power of the telescope!” There’s just hundreds of places to visit and enjoy yourself, including American History Vacation packages and other wonders.

I wouldn’t recommend a permanent move, however. Their historical lessons will likely not include something from the past 40 years – and I wouldn’t bother checking on this at the NC Children’s Museum, because you won’t find much evidence of it there. Unless you look for that which is not there at all – specifically 7600 children who would now be adults, their children, and their children’s children. And you won’t see anything anywhere about the accomplishments of those kids, because they were never born.

No they weren’t aborted. That’s not the subject of this article. These children were simply never born. That is because from the 1920s to the 1970s, North Carolina had the legal authority to forcefully sterilize members of its’ population. Sure, it was done by Hitler – but apparently he didn’t do it right, because following WWII, North Carolina really picked up the pace sterilizing white women at first, because they were on welfare – and later, black women as they became part of the welfare system. But males were also targeted, and the reasoning was what you would expect of insects with little regard for human life:  “you wouldn’t expect a moron to run a train or a feeble-minded women to teach school – you wouldn’t want the state to grat drivers’ licenses to mental defectives…” reads a pamphlet published to promote the program. The capper: “Yet each day the feeble-minded and mentally defective are entrusted with the most important and far reaching job of all … parenthood.”

More than 7500 people were forcibly sterilized in North Carolina. They received an apology from former Governor Mike Easley in 2002.  Easley was born in 1950 – during the time period in which the eugenics program was in full swing.  Those who received their apology in 2002, basically received it from one of the babies who escaped the culling.

None of the victims of the State ever received any compensation for their empty lives. Only 39 percent of them are still alive. Later this month, those remaining victims will be asked to speak to a “governor’s task force” regarding compensation.

How do you compensate for something like that?
What do you give those people back that you haven’t already stolen from them? And what apology will be heard, by the dead and the unborn?

I imagine those who instituted the program and pushed it into high-gear after WWII – they are likely all beyond justice.

I hope they’re getting forked right alongside Hitler.

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Proponents of eugenics are currently within the federal government. Obama's science advisor John P. Holdren has called for a "Planetary Regime" of totalitarian population control measures in his book "Ecomeasures," published in 1977 - years after Eugenics ended in North Carolina. Apparently, he doesn't think the program of Hitler and North Carolina, went far enough, either. Holdren's leading notion in the book called for adding "infertility drugs" to water supplies; his runner-up... require women to apply for licenses to have children.


Saturday, June 4, 2011

The power of dreams

I understand at the genetic level the need to revolt. My genetic make-up comes from a people who are good at it.

Still, it is disheartening to read the word, as written by modern-day Americans and friends, in response to the perceived – and often very real – dismissal and disdain shown by our elected officials for those who elected them. The response is almost universal now amongst regular folks everywhere … “remove these pretenders from office before they can do any more harm.”

I cannot disagree with the reasoning, but I do disagree with the common reasoned solution.

The question really is: what you believe? And it really is that simple. Consider history.

From 1929 to 1933, the United States was in the throes of the Great Depression. Simultaneously, massive errors in farming practices and natural weather patterns produced the Dust Bowl – and brought devastation to the western U.S. This all occurred during a time when just a decade previous, the “Spanish” Influenza killed 50 million people worldwide. Within that same timeframe, the end of the “Great War” saw approximately 38 million dead. By 1929, despite a bull market leading up to the depression, the crash still occurred, as well as everything that went with it, there was little reason to hope. In fact, the median for education amongst adults living during the 30s was 8.1 years of school. Only about five percent of U.S. youth had ever seen the inside of a college. Less than 40 percent had completed High School.

Life was dark, much seemed hopeless and beyond the control of man. In many places, people were resorting to anything, for just a little bit of hope. Organized crime flourished – violence, strikes and corruption increased, as did racially motivated killings.

What was needed was not greater control and more grasping for power, but simply, a strength of belief.

January 7, 1929, newspapers carried a new comic strip. Comic strips were very popular due to the literacy level of the average citizen. In this case, the strip was something John Flint Dille had been planning for some time, but which finally came to life with the illustrations of Frank Paul. The story had already begun in 1928 in the August edition of Amazing Stories, as written by Phillip Nowlan., including in the title, the word “Armageddon.”

The comic strip Dille had wanted to produce for some time was all about a single purpose: Produce hope … give people something to believe in. The prologue described a man who had just left the air service after a World War, and through an accident in his new civilian job, became accidentally entombed in a mine – only to awake in the year 2429. This simple prologue was of course, the beginning of a name, which would become known around the world … “Buck Rogers.”

Consider this: What kind of hope do you have for the future? How do you think the next year will develop? What do you think will happen to the United States if we have to suffer through another year of a chief executive’s vacationing, golfing, and systematic disassembly of the economy? What results can we expect with further regulation, further control of people’s day-to-day lives?

If we call the America we currently live in, “Orwellian,” then what hope do we have of escape and rebirth? Remember, this … our society is nowhere near as troubled as that of the generation of the Great Depression. We just need something to catch a glimpse beyond the horizon. We need something to believe in.

The miracles depicted in Buck Rogers include rockets, flying machines, television, two-way video communication, cell phones, digital displays – and many other current conveniences. The truth of the power of the convictions which birthed these things was not found in the adult population of that time – but rather the children. By 1929, the comic was everywhere, featuring not just the resourceful Buck Rogers, but the brilliant scientist, Dr. Huer and the courageous and beautiful companion, Wilma Deering.

Children loved it. It became the longest running comic strip in American history – and that’s the real answer to our country’s current predicament – and the way to escape the feeling of despair, which is fueling anxiety across the nation.

We need the children to get all of us there.

Any adult today is fairly irrelevant if they are not doing their part to inspire and encourage the children and teens around them. Because, like the time of the Great Depression, our days of darkness will not be numbered in a year or two or three – and it will not be a civil project or free money, or war, or any other such scheme which will give us new life and new purpose. As adults, we simply do not have the time necessary to create the beautiful thing which is even now, just out of sight and out of reach. But even if we do, the future belongs to someone else.

It will be the children, who having been stoked on the hopes and possibilities and beliefs of our time, will create the next great world of wonder and growth and development. Their capabilities and talents and truth will create even greater inspiration, if we only help them to get there.

It is this simple: as long as we can find the strength to believe in those children and their imagination, we may someday live in a new kind of world. I see that place sometimes in my rare good sleeps, as a crystalline world in which the best, noblest parts of humankind meet a newly imagined frontier of science, religion, art, renewal, rebirth and most of all …

…. dreams.

We can get there. But only if you believe.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Charlatans


I used to wonder about charlatans.

As a traditional martial art teacher, you see a lot of them. They pop up like weeds in what once was a pristine lawn of real, trained, professionals. The result is, of course, people learn and promote junk technique, and will get themselves and others hurt, trying to perform this stuff in the real world.

These days, there is a new breed of this phony. They wrap themselves in ambiguity, innuendo – or even go so far as to wrap themselves in a uniform.  Then they show up at community events.

It’s no longer cool enough to be a martial artist – now, these maggots have to be SEALS.

A recent “Thank You Soldiers” tribute in Thousand Oaks, California drew some meatball named Salhem Dreasden, replete in a Naval officer’s uniform complete with a trident. Of course, he was a fake, but he’s not alone.

A friend of mine relentlessly pursued the true history of a guy claiming to be a professional martial art teacher and – you guessed it –a SEAL. He is neither thing, but has managed to convince members of the press, a local law enforcement community – and many others, simply because no one looked closely enough.

My perspective: he was apparently compensating for something.

It’s everywhere – and it’s going to get worse.

I once visited a martial arts school where they gathered around in a comfortable circle at the end of practice and exchanged lovely stories about how compassionate and forgiving and gentle, etc., their original teachers were. I don’t know if they did this to determine my background – or if they do that kind of stroking regularly there, but when asked, I gave them the truth:

My training was painful, is still ongoing after decades – as I will always view myself as a student – and my teachers were anything but compassionate. They were hard men who scared the crap out of me, and to this day, I am very careful when I am on the mat with them. Practices were a slice of Hell. Earning my 1st Dan (first degree black belt) was the culmination of a decade of work, and one of the greatest honors of my life. Bones broke, joints dislocated, and I did all of it in a foreign country while serving in the Air Force with the 501st Tactical Missile Wing. Look it up – a nuclear missile system, which helped bring an end to the Cold War.

The practices were hard and uncompromising. I’d pay real money to be that young and do all of it again.

Of course, the greatest single honor of my life was finding my wife and knowing my children. Following that – I was fortunate to serve in the U.S. military. I was a Sergeant. I was no one important. I served with people who were important - they were great men and women back then – and would become greater in time. The military was often hard and uncompromising.

I loved it and would give away a lot just to wear the uniform one more time. And although I often dream of it - that will never happen.

But what is guaranteed to happen is this: Today or tomorrow, I’ll bump into an alleged 10th Degree such-and-such at the grocery store, or online. I’ll get to hear bullshit stories from some dweeb who is so insecure, he has to fabricate a background. They are like lint or pillballs, I can’t keep them off of me – away from me. I have been coated in these creatures for decades.

I know how sick it makes me feel. And I know how disgusted it makes others feel, but I have to wonder what that says about us as a people? Are so many people so insignificant – so worthless – that they have to become a lie?

They can – of course – never be reached for comment.

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For the fakes, I have this to say:            Grow a pair. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Why we cry

Watch the sun go down and you have to hope it will come up again tomorrow.

That’s the reason, it is said, that seagulls cry – because they see the sun sinking and believe the night will be eternal. Coyotes cry for a much different reason, according to many Indian tribes.

And no one knows why whales cry.

Humans cry for so many reasons, there aren’t names for them all. But sometimes, they cry for the same reasons as seagulls – the end of the world really does happen every day. For someone, somewhere, an accident, illness or just the weight of the years piled upon them, pulls them away from the world we know, into a place no one has ever returned from.

Look out at the night sky and see the stars. Whatever your viewpoint, the vastness of the great ocean of black is only made more real by those tiny points of light. One native American tribe attributes those lights to an accident – a cosmic splash of flowers from a great bag – flowers the creator had intended to place in perfect patterns, so the creatures of the world would always know he was real.

We often suffer through doomsday claims and for some, a countdown and expectation of something perfect and complete, just around the edge of night. Yet we are still here, imperfect with our wishes and hopes and cruelties and crimes.

We remain here to continue in our days, knowing that another sunset is coming. And in all of the moments between the time we open our eyes in the morning and close them at day’s end, we somehow lose sight of the truth that each breath we take, represents a moment in which somewhere else, the world is ending – or at least changing irrevocably for someone else. And of course in that same moment the world is beginning – being born, in every sense that is possible.

On an antique table in a corner of my house is an ancient tooth – not of a whale, but certainly something as large as a whale, that cut through the black of the sea 186 million years ago. The eyes of that creature looked upon a very different Earth. In the time it lived, there were no people yet, but the Earth was already ancient. It swam through the crush of a universe no mind can comprehend.

Time is the greatest mystery and immensity of all. We are lost, trying to stay afloat in its’ waves and currents. But nothing can tread those waters forever. No matter how fearsome or how beautiful a thing is, the truth remains. We know it when we are young, and one incredible day we feel somehow the miracle that we have slowed or stopped everything. In that youth we can stop time, but when we are old, we are only time travelers, remembering better days and trying to forget the days which haunt us. Backward and forward – lives played like some kind of worn film, flickering and crackling – eventually giving way to silence.

Perhaps all the tears shed over the millennia, are simply a reflection of these truths: The sun rises and sets and may indeed do so again tomorrow – but the moment we are experiencing right now; that simple spark amidst an eternal fire – is an opportunity to be greater than we were a moment ago, an hour, a day - a lifetime.

If everyone did everything they could to make the world a better place, we would see a day in which no one would fear the night. Hope and compassion would be real - not just words, and we would all know the truth the Creator wanted us to see in the stars.

Perhaps we would even know the meaning of the songs of whales and wolves and the music of a perfect afternoon in an unforgettable place.

We can get there from here, but politics and intolerance, hate and all the ignorance and stupidity we would visit upon each other – all has to be gathered and left to dry and bleach in the sun, until it all shrivels and dries, and is carried away in softness.

Somewhere the sun is going down – and somewhere else a sliver of golden light cuts across the horizon.

The only true mystery remaining is what you will do with this single moment.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A final hope on this September 11

Never believe the sun has set forever and left us in darkness. 

Never forget the victims. Their names are only markers for things we cannot ever see in total - their lives and those they touched even briefly - the changes they wrought in the world, without even knowing it... that is the true monument.  

It wasn't the terrorists' acts which changed the world - it was the lives of the victims and the rallying cry which rose even as the dust settled. Some brave few answered that call and paid the price for all of us. Our warriors still hunt the animals who would continue to prey on the innocent the world over.  

So many people- so many stories and lives we will never know - given up for the rest of us. I hope those of us whose safety and security have been purchased at such a high price, have the wisdom and dignity and understanding to honor those sacrifices with our own lives. May we please live our days full and completely enough to give meaning and purpose to those lost since that terrible September day.  

And if meaning and purpose and balance is beyond our ability to attain, may we at least have the strength to face the days ahead without our brothers and sisters - may we be given enough mornings to wake and rise and make a difference in the world, so that someday those who live in the future may look back and say, "Those who were left at home - who remained at home, accomplished something - some measure of honor - some measure of peace and some measure of purpose."  

And us who have all followed the victims and the heroes into the next world, perhaps we can grasp a shred of happiness in our final moments, just long enough to fade from this Earth with a sigh of contentment - and they who come for us, we will recognize - even as they take us away. 

And the world will be brighter. And the sun will rise again without us. 


And even that final truth will be right and perfect and wonderful.



Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Remember the Ash

Remember the smoke pouring out of two of the tallest buildings in the world.

Remember the first news reports - the first estimates of how many people could be trapped inside.

Remember the freeze-frame of the massive jet as it crashed into the second tower - eliminating all doubt that this was an intentional action - an act of war on innocent people.

Remember the firefighters and policemen that responded instantly - despite the impending collapse which would kill so many of them.

Remember the ash which covered everyone - no one of any color - no one of any creed. Simply one people - Americans - now soon to be at war with extremists.

Remember how no one targeted the Muslim faith itself. Remember how American flags seemed to spring from every shopfront - every home - every street - even people who had never even been to New York - or even known anyone there.

Remember it.

We were all covered with ash that day - everywhere - even in countries far removed. Americans grieved and vowed to take vengeance. And so did much of the world.

When did we "get over" Pearl Harbor? When did we excuse the Holocaust and those responsible? When did we walk away from Clocktower shooters and Hijacker terrorists? When did we just shake our heads and say, "It's OK - it happened in another time, to other people - it happened, but we've forgotten what the moment felt like. We've forgotten all of it?"

Do you think we washed the last of that ash off? I can still feel it on my skin. I can still feel it, even though I was not there. I can feel the weight of it - heavier - not lighter over the years. Was it Muslims who perpetrated those acts of terror? Or do all Muslims disavow the thing? Why is the new Mosque planned for construction on the site where the towers fell, named after the first Muslim conquest in the West?

Please answer me. I would love to have some kind of reasoning - some line which explained the morality of placing a victory monument on the site where those thousands of people died. Because that is what the thing is - it is a claim of victory.

I find it difficult to believe that Bob Beckle would suggest on national television that New Yorkers should "Get over it." Apparently he forgot to mention the rest of America - many of whom have not, will not and can not ever set it aside.

Like myself.

What I would give to be able to have talked to one of those people before they died that day due to Muslim terrorists. What I would have given to have known even one of them, just for a moment? What would I have said? I would have asked them to tell me their life's story - I would ask them what their favorite things were about this world - I would have asked so that their history be passed on.

And I demand a monument with those stories, written by their relatives in stone - on the very site they plan to build this Mosque - this atrocity of conquest. Because by erecting that building where they are, is naming this "war on terror" something else entirely.

They are sadly - intentionally or unintentionally - creating a "Crusade."

In Human history, civilization has collapsed many times, over much smaller things.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Lights.

Look down at any city at night and the lights you see can be viewed as only sad glitter.

But look with open eyes and heart and any city – even the worst place in the world, is lit by more than electricity, more than fire.

That is because from high above we forget the lights are more than just that. Those lights are exultant. They are a shining – a proof of life.

In New Mexico, not so long ago, a small town was known for its’ light. Shining in the darkness of a massive desert, the town was more of an outpost – a place where villagers were struggling to survive. A battle was fought there once. But it was an affirmation of life, more than it was a sign of God’s will. Still, with the unknown darkness against them always, the people of the village chose to erect a cross on a lonely hill where the battle was fought and won. It was a monument to victory… but as with most victories, it is mostly lost to time. I know it from half-remembered stories, told to me in passing. The only thing I’m sure of is the real monument – the true monument:  It was the village which is still alive after all this time. It is a community of souls. The village name is “The Light.”

I often think that what we see is not enough. Our understanding seems lost within bodies aging. Our reasoning seems increasingly clouded, when you would think it would sharpen with experience and knowledge - certainly, the breeding ground of wisdom.

But so many days we spend railing against the imagined forces of darkness. And of course, that is also because of experience, because we know the darkness can be real. We know that monsters prowl the half-light thrown at the fringe of shadow. We’re sure of it, because it is true. I have flown in military helicopters over terrain most of you couldn’t imagine, until it all seemed like a patchwork quilt below me, blurring one shape into another. Killers and victims were down there somewhere, but my ground-pounder eyesight wasn't as acute at altitude. I have flown in an AT-38 Talon beside an F-117A Stealth Fighter – somewhere in the deep background a landscape of brown becoming white-capped mountain peaks; all of it so familiar – and yet so different. The tiny lights I would see approaching innumerable airfields when I was younger, were jets just like those – representative, perhaps of the soaring souls on board. But you can’t see that from the balcony of a barracks building. And from a fast-flying military aircraft, often you can't see the life and death below you.

I recently made a list. I suppose many would see it as an affirmation of their fears: a country in decline or perhaps at the cusp of a new beginning. Once again, it depends how you view things. I would like to list those things here. But please read beyond them, and understand maybe more than you did when you started reading this article.

Here is our government’s actions in recent times:

They have been unwilling to deal with illegals and Mexican Drug cartels
A string of broken promises have stacked one upon the other – some which fly in the face of principles set forth when our country was founded.
We have a government which forces through bills – but those bills are really edicts forced upon a population in the dead of night.
Our country is taking up socialized programs which cannot be supported in the current economy – or perhaps any economy. The same programs have, of course, failed wherever and whenever they have been tried in history.
The same government is also outlaying funds for ridiculous programs, further increasing the national debt in some kind of insane spree – like a teenager burning their way through a wallet filled with dad’s credit cards.
The administration of our country refuses to expand drilling for fuel by companies here in the U.S., citing environmental concerns, but then play golf, vacation and take long breaks during the worst environmental catastrophe seen since Chernobyl - by mismanaging and ignoring the Gulf oil spill.
In the same timeframe all this is happening, they continue to look at cap-and-trade – a concept, which will simply kick an economy, which is already down. And dying.
Meanwhile, their claim to glory, besides a ridiculous health care package rivaling the complexities and mysteries already seen in an overgrown tax code, is a push for “Green” anything - in any way it can be even loosely achieved. And while climate research has been shown to be at worse, a conspiracy – and at best, bad science, the same administration continues to beat the drum as fewer and fewer people listen.
Lastly, there’s a mismanagement of an ongoing war. Generals are not supported, then removed when they question why they are not receiving the personnel and materials they need. Troops are shuffled like a deck of cards, and in a ridiculous contradiction, the government seeks to go soft on terrorists and admitted enemies of the country – yet in the same breath, level charges against our most elite commandos for something they didn’t do in the first place, but something they should be free to do more of – assaulting the monsters in the night.
And of course, when making a list such as this, you can’t leave out the details: like the disrespect shown to our greatest allies, the embracing of rogue groups and states – as if they were our friends, and lastly, the marginalizing, demonizing and disregard for the regular people of the country.

It would seem, at first glance, that America is dying.

But, I would encourage you to take a different point of view for a moment. The inaction of the federal government in matters of state sovereignty has created a huge divide, which cannot be bridged by federal force. The tighter the hand squeezes, the more water escapes the grip. The harder the darkness presses against the light – the brighter those lights become.

And we have shone so very brightly indeed. In an environment of racial tension once again, our countrymen today would do well to remember that the founding of America itself occurred through the efforts of women and men of all nationalities and creeds alike, fighting side-by-side against a common oppressor. We exist because the lights of their lives were extinguished in exchange for our own. Small flames don’t die; they create newer, larger ones. And so our country was born, itself.

And edicts may be nailed to every post on every corner, broadcast through the very air itself – but none will last out the week. Torn, tattered, blown, fading out into space itself – all such unpopular mandates join the great political landfill, always just out of sight; perhaps hidden by great actions of legendary people. The junk-pile of unjust law is occluded, because the shadows cast by the legendary are long; and their accomplishments so great that even the failed and disgraced in the world recede into background noise and clutter.

Socialized debtor programs can’t support themselves. Collapse and equalization is inevitable; recovery and rebirth are always around the corner, and they are always glorious. Look at the Great Depression, followed by the most terrible war the world may have ever seen – all of it, suffering and death and horror on a scale seemingly unimaginable. Still, the result was a great expansion of society, technology, education and enlightenment, even. We reached for the lights in the night sky… and we got there.

Trade scams and snake-oil salesmen are nothing new either. They have taken on the form of complex government schemes, but they are still visible for what they are. They fill a void, of course. They provide the uninformed and the ignorant and the somnambulant with something to grasp at. But, they reach for shadows – and the darkness always follows shadows. I think even these folks know that, deep down. Education and hard lessons provide the cure for this. In an age of information, the uninformed grow fewer in number. The lights in this case are the glow of millions of networked computer screens and televisions. And information cannot be controlled. It can be parsed, and it can be twisted and shaped. But those tricks are also part of the information stream. Those who wish to see, will in fact see.

Turning on friends is never a good thing. Children learn this early on. Yet our own government can’t seem to prevent itself from engaging in such activity – perhaps they are aged, or foolish, or careless. After some time, policies and actions like this become another collapse. Actions like these are the truly unsustainable things in life. When loss is constant, eventually either someone takes your place or you take another tack - one with the wind, instead of against it. To stand is sometimes the most difficult thing in the world.

And of course we come full circle in looking at things like this. Like the city lights and the patchwork countryside, and the mountain set against high-flying aircraft; and even like the town, which is named “The Light,” we are all part of a much larger picture. Our combined wills against that of a government grown oppressive, are like the ocean against a grain of sand. Governments come and go. People remain.

Look down at any city at night – and you may see only lights. But if you look with different eyes you see dreams and hopes and futures not yet born or even imagined.

We are made of light.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Racial Cards

In casinos, the cards are regularly changed. This prevents all sorts of embarrassing situations from occurring.

I sure wish America would put the whole pack of racial cards away.

I related a story yesterday about asking while teaching a class, with a group of adults – and one 7-year-old, if they could name one Lee Greenwood song. Only the 7-year-old could do it. He said, “God Bless the USA.”

It’s an interesting thing to have been born during a time, which that 7-year-old couldn’t even imagine – and yet, the kid has heard –and likes Lee Greenwood. But to have lived during a time when a dime could get you a phone call, when men were walking on the Moon, and when so much turbulence was occurring in society as I walked barefoot in a small fishing village in the summers – it is a sobering thought. The world was changing around me – and I never even noticed. For that 7-year-old last night – I wonder what he notices? Does he see or feel the change in society or are these his barefoot summers. I kind of hope the latter is the case.

And lately, I have begun to wonder if we’ve changed at all. Things are way out of control. People pointing at each other – and much worse – using the term “Racist?” I know there are groups out there who would gladly jump on that particular crazy train, but it is important to realize that the really virulent creatures out there, are not identified by the way they look or talk – just by the way they hate. That’s why it is possible to find them. Just look at the tenets of their organization – or their personal views as evidenced by their comments. But when you do that, you have to take in the whole picture – not just the things you “want” to see.

It is not the late 60s – not even the 70s, when I grew up. How I wish it was most days. I wish for those sunlit barefoot, ocean bleached and broken streets, the nights I would spend fishing – and the knowledge that if I stayed out late enough, my dad would always make that midnight walk out to the State Pier to tell me it was time to pack it in. Always.

There was a certain perfection to those days which despite my age and experience, now, I cannot put my finger on. Call it innocence, I guess. Maybe we are all there at some point in our life.

And then, you get a few more years tucked under the belt, and you realize the world isn’t all sunshine and beaches. There is real anger out there – anger for nothing. Perhaps the anger is there for its’ own sake, and nothing more. Like a parasite, it grows fat on our indifference, until it can exert its’ own brand of influence.

People die that way. Because they are the wrong religion, the wrong color, because they do not speak the language, because they are in the wrong political party, the wrong family, they die – or are forced to into terrible things. If they have no voice, or no influence, they are ground beneath the wheels of a terrible machine. It can be called a machine because it has no soul and no conscience, but it might as well be called a mob – or a pack of dogs. Because a person can be reasonable – people, on the other hand, are not.

Some will note the name Shirley Sherrod – although a few days ago, not many would have known her. She has had an interesting couple of days. Shirley might have earned herself an earlier column here on my website – but I must say, that as a former newspaper reporter, I like to wait until all the facts are in-hand, before I get out the hammer.

And all the facts were not in a couple days ago.

Yet, oddly, we have had the White House involved with the woman’s dismissal? They couldn’t wait for her to finish driving home. She was asked via mobile phone, by her boss (who allegedly had no real contact with the White House) to pull over to the side of the road – and send her resignation immediately.

But Shirley didn’t do the things they accused her of. And when I use the word “they” – in this instance, I am speaking to all the bickering children out there. All the self-important, all the “I’m right and you’re wrong” – or at least, left. I’m speaking to all those alleged leaders we have – from the Big O, to the crackpots who want to refer to themselves as “leaders” because of their “ethics.” Here’s a quote from a Marine Gunny I know:

“Shut the Hell up.”

That about covers it.
Shirley used her life experiences to illustrate how a person can change for the better. Look up the entire speech she gave – not the sound-bite offered to fuel anger and cause more divisiveness. Sherrod’s message in the speech was clear – if she can be a better person, and if she can find a way, anyone can.

Try listening to each other for a change. Try waiting – in this near-instantaneous-dataflow world we live in – just a little while longer before answering. Multi-tasking is a lovely concept, but if you slow things down a little bit, there’s time to do everything – and focus all your attention on each thing as it comes.

That “waiting” is something I’ve only just recently learned how to do. It has taken a lot to realize I just need to allow a little grass to grow, in-between comments and actions. The 7-year-old in last night’s class could have told me that, I think. He did say "God Bless the USA." And that was worth more to me than any lesson. It gives me hope - and that's such a rare commodity.

But I should have always known these things, and I should have always been able to follow these simple guidelines. But I am no wise man – and sometimes, not even a very good person. So I forget, and lapse into bad habits and old patterns. I am often a needle in a groove – and my life is a 45, not a 33. That statement will confirm when I grew up. And for those who don’t know what it means. Just take a breath. Calm down and turn on your iPod or iPad – or whatever the hell it is that has some music on it. Take out a deck of cards and if you don’t know solitaire, build a little house. It’s good to build steady hands and patience.

But take out the regular cards - not the racial ones.

---------------

http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2010/07/20/the-full-shirley-sherrod-speech/

Monday, July 19, 2010

Room 101 - revisited

I offer you these two articles, which I first wrote in August 2009. They have new relevance today, now that the idiots at the Washington Post have decided in their lofty self-image, to reveal the underpinnings of America's Intelligence gathering capabilities. Back when I first wrote these, I was still hoping that our government wouldn't slide as far as it has. It seemed at the time that the push for nationalized health care and National Socialism (the very definition for the NAZIs) would not take root here. But it has. And we're quickly approaching an end-game of Biblical proportions.

Don't believe me?
That's OK.
Read what I said in 2009.

Above: a post card requesting the release of a political prisoner from
the clutches of the corrupt Somali government which collapsed, leaving
the country in ruin, and precipitating international
intervention in Operation Restore Hope 1992-93. This card was found
on the floor of the corridor of the vacant parliament building
amongst piles of millions of such requests.


Your health care is history. Your lives are being crushed. You just can’t see the ceiling yet, but it is falling, and we are all underneath it.

I’m going to paraphrase Orwell again – why? Because, we are living in a time where we are sliding faster and faster into the dark “future” of 1984. Orwell wrote that most of the material that you are dealing with has no connection with anything in the real world, “not even the kind of connection that is contained in a direct lie.”

Statistics, he wrote, are “just as much a fantasy in their original version as in their rectified version.”

So where is the truth? Truth is currently whatever those in power want to call it. We who live outside of Washington and all the groups connected, contracted and in collusion with the country’s alleged leadership, have no voice. No matter how many town meetings we sandbag – or how many Congressional offices we stand outside of, we are the Proles of 1984. We are the ignored. We are derided and dismissed.

Now, we are the re-educated, reformed and failing that, interrogated or tortured.

No longer will most of the old agencies be part of the political process. We have czars for everything. We have provided unlimited funding to hidden groups – and some not so hidden, like ACORN. Now, no longer will the Central Intelligence Agency have the ability to do a major part of its job. Someone else will be managing all interrogations. Allegedly the new unit will focus specifically on key terror suspects – and yes, it will have its’ own czar.

In 1984, Winston does not know why Withers and the FFCC are disgraced and disbanded. Heretical tendencies are at question, but “what was likeliest of all -- the thing had simply happened because purges and vaporizations were a necessary part of the mechanics of government.”

Many are saying that this change in the interrogation scenario will have a chilling effect – that is, new interrogators hired by the fledgling group will be very cautious – overly cautious, so as not to lose their jobs in the future and become the targets of prosecution.

But, the polar opposite is also true. By removing something as dark as detention and interrogation from a system which has oversight to one which only is answerable to the President – and subsequently no real oversight, you end up with the same kind of system which exists in Third-world countries. Don’t believe it? You don’t have to. The disappeared can’t speak for themselves. They have long ago faced the horrors of their torture chambers – the Orwellian “pain-giving dial,” and are now buried with thousands – perhaps millions - of their fellow citizens; and they are all buried in lost landfills around the globe. I know it because I have stood in the corridors of the former parliament building of the ousted President Siad Barre of Somalia. I stood knee-deep in postcards each requesting the release of a different particular political prisoner. The corridor was thousands of feet long, and filled from one end to the other.
I can still feel them against my legs – like the fingers of the lost dead.

And dear reader, you think it can’t happen here? What then happens now?

One thing is for certain, the cattle-like media will now follow this CIA topic and will allow their albeit meager attention to waver from the story of the failing health-care reform legislation. And of course, the administration knows they are currently losing that battle. Or are they?

With attention split between the hot-button of interrogation and torture and previous policy versus current policy, a possible window will open through which some version of health care reform will be stuffed through. Meanwhile, the CIA, which in recent months has gone head-to-head with skin-walkers like Nancy Pelosi, will be reduced in authority and power.

And all that power and authority will be delivered into the loving hands of Big Brother Obama, who could stop the impending prosecution of CIA personnel and others – a modern day witch hunt – in its’ tracks. But he won’t, because he only stands to gain from the avalanche his friend, Eric Holder, has put into motion.

Make no mistake, though. We are already in Orwell’s Room 101. We are strapped to the chair and are completely immobilized. We cannot move our head. And the interrogator O’Brien is with us.

'You asked me once,' said O'Brien, 'what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world.'

What’s the worst thing in the world to you, dear reader? Is it the loss of everything that once made us America? For poor Winston, it was rats. Rats like we have in Washington right now.

'Do you remember,' said O'Brien, 'the moment of panic that used to occur in your dreams? There was a wall of blackness in front of you, and a roaring sound in your ears. There was something terrible on the other side of the wall. You knew that you knew what it was, but you dared not drag it into the open. It was the rats that were on the other side of the wall.'

But they’re not on the other side of the wall any more, dear reader. They are here with us all. They are in our government – by the dozens – by the hundreds or thousands. They are preparing us for Room 101. The worst thing in the world varies from individual to individual, wrote Orwell. And he was right – it could be burning alive, impalement, drowning or a thousand other things. But our rats are smart. They’ve found the most terrible thing to inflict on all of us – something truly universal, which every American dreads.

They are stealing freedom.


-------------


And another article from 2009.
A nightmare.


The first thing they teach you in journalism school is to maintain a narrow focus. If you go after too big a subject, you risk confusing the reader. The second thing they teach you is not to exaggerate – report the facts. Let the facts stand on their own. Maybe, the third thing is to keep yourself out of the story. You can report effectively while keeping the article neutral and objective.

Sorry about this. I’m going to break every one of these rules.

But it’s OK, because the fourth thing I remember them teaching us is that if you know the rules, then you can break them – or you know when your breaking them… or something like that. I was sleepy that day.

Anyway, here goes. Some will read this and call it alarmist crap. Some will read it and label me a whack-job. Some won’t even get through it before they feel compelled to pick up their field glasses and scan the skies for the “black helicopters.” And of course, some, who have likely been considering putting me on a watch-list, will now just wave their hands dismissively and stamp “whack-job” on that file folder in the black helicopter headquarters.

I’m going to paint you a picture of words – a picture, which normally would be found inside science fiction novels. Here – in this sentence, ends any humor. What follows is your sci-fi scenario:

Very soon, people will be found dead, who have been standing in line overnight, waiting to get into the emergency room. Some type of universal health care will pass because no one prevented it. The complicated, ridiculous system will simply kill people at street level. Others will be found dead in their homes, knowing that the wait will be too long, and they may as well die in the comfort of their homes, instead of dying in the 21st century “med” lines.

Very soon, the news will be reporting incidents where killings have picked up outside the crammed primary care and emergency clinics because the criminals will have discovered an easy, soft target to acquire free drugs – simply take it from those too weak and sick, to resist.

Terrorists will carry out their publicized threats to use the Mexican border to carry through satchels of chemical and bio weapons, releasing them from the tops of skyscrapers perhaps, in densely populated areas during high traffic times during the day.

Plagues will create “sanctuary” cities of the dying – people who cannot be helped by the already overburdened first-responder and the rest of the top-heavy, socialized health-care system.

Those still moderately productive and not relegated to slow death in these places, will be relied upon to provide for everyone else – especially those insulated at the top of the political and financial ladders. They will be taxed mercilessly and the result will be a blossoming black market.

Police will be used to break up peaceful demonstrations and meetings, using a variety of excuses cloaked in the truth that any protests or claims against them will never make it into court – or if they eventually do, will not have any significance. Dissenting voices on the air will be silenced one way or the other – perhaps simply by using the rest of the “house” media and “new media,” to chip away at the opposition until they can no longer continue. Or perhaps they will be quieted through application of astronomical buy-outs using appropriated funds from untraceable public funding – in which the new owners simply replace the entire organization with more controllable reporters who will “toe the line.”

Congress will become irrelevant. Czars and committee dictators will replace the political process – especially for issues, which various groups want shoved-through into law without interference.

The new laws will include legislation to tell us how we can live and what we are allowed to think and say. Thought policing will take place through a “civilian” para-military arm of the government, which reports only to the President, perhaps through a handful of czars.

Presidential term limits will be eliminated. The massive powers newly taken up by the government would become more and more centralized until we arrive at a true dictatorship.

Outside the U.S., countries will become more and more nervous as a world superpower becomes more insulated and less controlled.

Growing internal unrest will lead the new dictatorship to levy heavier and heavier controls on the population. Resistance groups will be labled, “enemies of the state.” Peaceful rallies will be broken up by members of the massive civilian para-military group, which will by then, have massive power. People will be “disappeared.” Further confrontations will lead to further organization by resistance groups, pitting the overweight government apparatus against its own citizens.

I know. It's science fiction, right?

But make no mistake – if things continue on the path they are currently on, we will become subjects. We will become slaves. We will become the lost. Welcome to my nightmare.

Do something to stop it.

Please.

Want to see something which will pick up your spirits?

Have a look at this link if you're feeling a bit down...

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