Greetings and salutations from the sand, sun and surf of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and the great island of Nantucket! Great, as always, to be with you on this Friday morning, the twenty first of January, 2011, and as we ease on into the week end, I would offer a “must see” program that I saw for the first time last night, originally airing on January 18, 2011– FRONTLINE, a PBS magazine show that is, in a word, excellent, for it gave me a chill, much akin to the chilly picture of Nantucket Sound as seen above, on a cold raw day here in Osterville, with Hyannisport, off in the distance. This is the same show that brought you “The Wounded Platoon”, the very real life story of our young men and women in uniform coming home from the front line’s of Iraq and Afghanistan, who are having such a difficult time adjusting to civilian life, after the horror of what they went through on the battle lines. Suffering from PTSD, many of these soldiers turned to drugs and alcohol to relieve the intense “24 hour” vigilance they feel they must “do” in order to survive another second, let alone another day. This “24 hour” vigilance, is not, as it turns out, only part of a microcosm such as the story of one soldier’s struggle with an invisible disease, a debilitating, invisible disease that keeps one paralyzed in a state of constant FEAR, emanating from the memories of trauma that won’t seem to go away, even though the war is long over for these soldiers. No, this “24 hour” vigilance of which I speak, comes from our new overlords, the other “man behind the curtain”, following your every move whether you like it or not. I am speaking, of course, of the newly formed, after 9/11, ten “top secret” agencies that monitor every move made in this country to “keep us safe” from terrorists. It is state-of-the-art complex based in Maryland, and came into existence, thanks in part to the over reaction of the BUSH administration, that handed the NSA, among others, a blank check to build the huge monolithic office parks, in reality, that dwarf the Pentagon in depth and secrecy. As the FRONTLINE special, again, a “must see” documentary, called “Are We Safer?”, delved into the secret life of our secret life that discovers OUR secret life. It must be a boring job, for most American conversations do not come close to rhetoric that even resembles “terrorism”, as was the case in the great state of Maryland when “secret agents” battered down the doors of some peace activists and Dominican nuns. Yes, those very dangerous PEACE activists and nuns, I wonder what they would think of the “Little Sisters of the Poor”, who took care of my grandmother which such GRACE and LOVE until she passed away at the age of 104 a year and a half ago in San Pedro, California… I am sure that compassion and LOVE are two of the hot buttons for this newly formed “BIG BROTHER” who makes assumptions about who and what we are before taking the time to realize that WE are all in this together, and the last thing this country needs is more paranoia. If these hot shots are so good, then why did it take a hot dog vendor to ward off the attempted car bomb attack in New York City? Or, better yet, why did they not see the back pack filled with explosives in the historically hate filled “white supremacists” hot bed, located near Spokane, Washington, where that bomb was set to explode during a Martin Luther King Jr. parade? Why all the secrecy? And for that matter, who are we really afraid of? Most American citizens would probably “think” that having 10-12 secret, top secret, agencies, getting information funneled in to them from police officers on the beat via a national “grid” of sorts, is a good thing, taking pictures of license plates with a camera attached to their cruisers, technology emanating from the military industrial complex and compliments of the illegal war we waged in Iraq, and they would be right, for if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. However, when you have an agency that is answerable to NO ONE, you have a problem HOUSTON! This country was based on TRANSPARENCY and LIBERTY, as was so eloquently stated by our great President John F. Kennedy fifty years ago on the steps of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., January 20, 1961 during his inauguration speech, as he was sworn in as the nations’ 35th President of the United States. In his speech, the famous speech where he states, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” Liberty was the key under current, and when you think about that word, you have to take a moment to reflect on what it means to YOU personally, not someone else’s definition of, said, word. Liberty to some may just mean a broken bell adorning one of the historic state houses in Philadelphia. Liberty to others may embody what Thomas Jefferson wrote so vociferously about, and fought so hard to preserve as the young rebels in this burgeoning country came alive and took back that LIBERTY from the tyrannical hands of George the Third, whose intolerance and thievery was exposed during the first shot across the bow, “The Boston Tea Party”, where the rebels stated under no uncertain terms, “no taxation, without representation,” as they dumped all of that tea into the Boston Harbor. Liberty, to anyone who writes or commands his or her own words, without some kind of mind control or censorship, usually coming from the media outlets that speak in true dog whistles, repeating the same talking points, over and over again, ad nauseum, until, with their viewership in their grasp, they cannot truly make up their OWN mind, yes, anyone who does think for him or herself, knows that the first amendment, “the FREEDOM of SPEECH”, is, perhaps, the most important LIBERTY of all. For, as Chinese premier Hu Jintao leaves our shores, bound for the ever growing and rapidly changing China, we “Americans” are left in the dark as to what the real significance of this visit means for American jobs and the American future, and many in this country FEEL as though they have no voice, save for the insufferable polls that have become a science in and of themselves, not offering any real voice to be heard, only a raw number, of which any “pundit” could give you fifty different reasons for, depending on your choice of network, and your political affiliation. For we all know, that the “middle class”, rapidly becoming the working poor, in this nation, are in the same boat as the Chinese who don’t live in the cities, that are expanding faster than the hotels that went up in Vegas during the boom 90’s here in the United States. Reason, the corporations take the lion’s share–that means banks, oil companies, insurance companies, coal companies, car companies, etc., leaving the working poor with lower and lower wages, with competition heating up globally–for, said, “corporations”, like a shark (my apologies to real sharks everywhere), need to constantly feed, as they are geared towards one thing and one thing only--PROFIT. Short term profit to be specific. So why care about the environment, why care about worker’s rights and the humanity of a real living wage, why care about human rights at all? The top one percent in this country makes 25 percent of the revenue…think about that for a moment, the next time you see a family in Michigan who can’t feed his two kids, as the father was laid off from his now vacant blue collar job, which he did noblely for over twenty years, but, because of the fact that job is now being done by another worthy human being in a different country, for much less money, and, the fact that his unemployment benefits have run out, he is forced to rely on food banks that are slowly running out of funds, leaving him in the position to fend for his kids the best way he knows how–by working two jobs at 7.25 cents an hour, as his body slowly declines from the labor intensive work, alienating his children due to lack of ATTENTION, akin to LOVE, and seeing his underwater house, the value of the house being worth much less now than what he paid for it, while the mortgage he was duped into buying, via predatory lending by banks such as Bank of America, or Wells Fargo, is too expensive to keep paying, for the “adjustable mortgage” (one of the main culprits of the GREAT RECESSION) is now sky high, and, thus, does not have enough money to even buy his kids a GOD DAMN Christmas present! This is the real America folks, and if you ask me, are we any safer? I would answer that question with a BIG NO, for as the GRAND CANYON between the have’s and the have not’s continues to widen, money flowing in between the two extremes, such as in the way the Colorado River carved the Grand Canyon itself, we will come to understand who is the REAL AMERICAN and who is just a shyster, out for a quick buck, as multi-national corporations continue to rape and pillage this earth, an earth WE ALL SHARE, regardless of how much money you have in your bank account, and as a global community, that we now are, WE, must all ask ourselves, “what kind of a world do we ALL want to live in, and more importantly, what legacy do we leave for our children?” Dying Polar Bears, polluted bodies of water, rising global temperatures, and run away GREED by the few, the proud, the coming PLUTOCRACY? Yes, that is path we are headed down, and thus, that is the legacy that will be left for our children and grandchildren. I can assure you this, Mr. Speaker, your grandchildren will not be saying 100 years from now, “God, I am sure glad we passed that tax break for the wealthy in 2010, and ignored all of the warning signs of the GLOBAL crisis that came as the earth’s temperature rose, due to the continued dumping of carbon into the atmosphere, creating a a “green house” effect, such as they have on the planet Venus, where the temperatures are off the charts, to the point where the seas rose by 30 feet, where crops would not grow as a result of the extreme heat on the plains, and wildfires and increasingly violent storms destroyed at will, yet, all of that “run away capitalism” was justified, “christian” and, in the end, worth it.” I hope you watch FRONTLINE, for YOUR sake and the sake of those you hold dear, for if we don’t wake up COLLECTIVELY as a nation, take back what is rightfully OURS, our LIBERTY, we will miss out on the great future that we can all still share together, because it would not be worth it if we did it alone. Albert Einstein once said, “The only LIFE worth living, is one LIVING FOR OTHERS.” Perhaps that is the soul sickness, the angst in this great country of ours, that we have somehow forgotten that most important rule of all, the GOLDEN RULE, where Jesus himself said over 2011 years ago, “In your brother, you will see your savior,” making that cliched statement, “treat others as you would like to be treated,” i.e. the “golden rule”, a little more in focus, and hopefully, making a little more sense… I hope you have a nice week end folks and don’t take any wooden nickles. GOD’S SPEED to congresswomen Gabby Giffords, as she transitions from Tuscon University Hospital, to Houston’s top rehabilitation center for those who have suffered traumatic brain injuries--may HIS grace be with you and yours always. PRESERVE THE WILDERNESS! Peace~M
January 21, 2011
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