I’m not sure exactly where this is going to go…

In Uncategorized on December 27, 2010 at 12:21 am

…BUT… the world sure seems pretty strange today, doesn’t it?

I had been feeling pretty hopeless about things in America for quite a while.  It seemed like our response to 9/11… getting bogged down in a decade long debacle that wasted lives and resources was a disaster.  There was a lot of debate about that, but then the financial meltdown came along in 2007 and after a while… I’ll bet just about anybody had to wonder if there weren’t better things we could have done in America with the $$Trillion we spent invading and occupying Afghanistan and Iraq.

The debate over the Health Care bill and the Wall St. bailout really laid bare the degree to which powerful industries leveraged influence and access in Washington DC to drive the debate and get the results that were best for their bottom line… regardless of what was best for the country as a whole.  All these machinations used to be done behind the scenes, but now were done right out in the open.  Wall St. gets bailed out… the economy doesn’t recover… unemployment becomes systemic… and a year later… bonuses in the financial sector… set records!

All of the things we’ve ignored for decades about the shrinking middle class… about jobs being shipped over-seas… were brought into sharper focus by the meltdown.  Before there were always enough scraps falling down off the table above where the big guys were dividing the really important parts of the pie… to keep us from asking too many questions or complaining too loudly.  As long as we could afford our latte, drive our SUV and buy the latest Chinese-made thing from the big-box store… there wasn’t too much to complain about.

Something is out of whack.  Something is broken.  I was watching all this happen… and deeply despairing.  Nobody seemed to care.  We had become a giant global empire, and for the last decade or so… I could see no future but the one that befell every empire that had come before… none of them were around any more.  I complained about the state of affairs and assigned the blame and annoyed my friends.  Little by little… even though I couldn’t imagine what it could be… I realized that I had to start looking around for a solution.  Wallowing around in the problem was killing me.

It started out with small things… I read “Three Cups of Tea“, and it was the first thing I’d ever encountered that gave me any hope of a difference being made in the Middle East / South Asia.  I dreamt of a less military, more humanitarian foreign policy and vowed to get involved. I contacted them volunteering to fundraise in my county… and haven’t done anything since.  The Coffee Party came about and was the only sane alternative to the dysfunction our political system had devolved into for decades and Ivowed to get involved… went to one meeting… and haven’t done anything since.

I don’t feel like a typical American in the sense that I am seeing the problems we face pretty clearly and though many friends call it “complaining”… I don’t see it as a small thing to try to raise awareness about the diminishment of our representation in our national government and our ability to participate on a level playing field in our economy! But one fed up friend got tired of me pointing out how little everyone else cared and challenged me to put up… or shut up! “What are YOU doing about it?”, she asked… and the honest answer was…not as much as I’d like.

Then came the catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.

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