Where to begin? The organizing and cleaning is going well, as pictured. I even managed to empty a drawer. That means I’ll soon be able to get more stuff, to put in the empty drawer. But, I want to talk about some other things, of an ever so slightly more serious nature.
This is what is called “an opinion piece.” There are some factual things included here, but these are my opinions, my ideas, my thinking. To preface, I am an American, born and raised. I am writing this as an American, from an American perspective, about America. I went to public school in the 70’s and 80’s, said the Pledge of Allegiance every morning, learned a lot from School House Rock, and was generally taught the idea of the “American Melting Pot”, which is that it doesn’t matter what color your skin is or where your ancestors came from, if you were born in the United States, you are an American. If you came to this country legally and assimilated into our culture, learned the language, legally became an American citizen, awesome for you, you are an American! ( Note here that English is now considered to only to be the “de-facto” National Language in the United States, and not the “official language of the United States”, whereas in France, the official language is French, in Germany, the official language is standard German, etc.) Regardless of skin color, gender, economics, we could all find common ground in this one thing, being American. As an adult, I now understand completely why they were trying so very hard to teach us that sense of unity, E Pluribus Unum, Out of Many, ONE. I understand why they were trying to drive that point home. When I started school, some of my first teachers where from my grandmother’s generation, survivors of The Great Depression, World War II, Korea, The Cold War, etc. The school system was still generally functioning under the ideals garnered from the hard lessons that generation learned from some of the exceptionally hard times they had been through. They were also the generation that witnessed, that were at the beginnings of, the Civil Rights Movement. They’d mourned the shock and horror of the knowledge of The Holocaust. They were trying to teach us, to ingrain in us, that as Americans, we were, and are, all in this together. They were trying to teach us this, not in denial of the bloody history of this country, but precisely because of the bloody history of this country. I was raised during an era when not only was it okay to be proud of being an American, to be proud of this country, it was generally, widely, encouraged. I was taught U.S. History, and World History, with a sense of, “Hey, you guys pay attention! You need to know this stuff and you need to understand it, so it doesn’t happen again.”
~ This obsession with guilt over the history of this country baffles me, as if any other super power, as if the Egyptians, or Rome, or The British, as if any of these great countries or societies achieved that reach through completely peaceful means. But we learn and we grow. Such guilt serves no purpose other than as a tool for those who choose to exploit it and manipulate it. Sometimes, it feels like I’m watching so many in this country say, “Oh here, we feel so bad, just…have this, and take this too, oh heck, here’s all of it.” And then what? And then where is this country? Then what use are the lessons, and where is the freedom that was fought for and bled for and died for?
“Well, Suzy, we just felt so bad. We let it slip away to assuage our feelings of guilt. We’re having wood chip stew again tonight, but, Billy found a tomato, so it’ll have some flavor!”
People really need to WAKE UP.
I’ve seen and heard about a lot of things going on within our political system and social structure, our society, in the last however many years, that have become increasingly disconcerting, to say the least. All those things my grandparents generation, and my parents generation, said “We won’t see it in our lifetime” about, well, I’m starting to wonder if I’ll see it in my lifetime. I worry for the Millennials. America is a Capitalist country. I’ve heard a lot of people argue that Capitalism is immoral, unfair, and so on. I’ve heard some argue against Capitalism, then turn right around and let you know they damn sure insist they get paid for their work, their art. So using that as an example… the book I’m working on is 123 pages, paperback. The cost of creating that book, per unit, is $3.72, according to the publishing platform I’m using. Now, you could say, to turn a profit, I’d have to charge $3.73, that would give a profit of one cent per book, right? But, then let’s factor in my time, my effort, the cost of owning a computer to write on and publish from, internet, ink cartridges for printing manuscripts, paper, the cost of ordering proofs, etc., etc, etc. Now, how much do I have to charge for that book to turn a profit? Ten bucks? Twenty? Is charging enough for the book to cover the expenses involved in creating the book, and still have some money left over, is that immoral? If you’re a flower gardener and it costs you five dollars per square foot of earth to grow wildflowers and you can get one big bouquet per square foot, and you sell each bouquet for fifteen dollars, you reinvest the five, so you can grow more flowers, you spend another five on ribbon and cellophane, to package the flowers, that leaves you with five dollars “profit” from every bouquet, free and clear, and that is your income and what you live on. Is that immoral? That’s Capitalism. Pure and simple, that’s it. “An economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit.” There is nothing immoral about the Capitalist system. Now, one could also say, there is nothing immoral about the Capitalist system in the hands of honest, moral, and honorable people. Then you’re beginning to get at the problem, greed, avarice, unscrupulousness. I’ll come back to this point, about greed. (Oh, but wait, then there’s taxes…) In America, we have some socialized, or somewhat socialist, systems in place already, in my opinion, it seems we have likely as many as we should ever want or need. Communism is a system in which everything is, essentially, owned by the government, there is no private property. You’ve got five acres of land? Eight acres? Twenty acres? A little house on the corner on a quarter acre lot that you worked your entire life for and hope to leave to your kids? Not under Communism you don’t, and you’ve no hope of ever having that either. I’m making this point to get at a larger point. (And do you like Starbucks, shopping malls, Farmhouse style, big stores full of cowboy boots and car lots that go on for days? Craft beer? What about Coca-Cola or Pepsi? Capitalism.)
Our government, in America, is shut down, right now. There’s some stuff going on that, as an American, I don’t think is too cool. In fact, I don’t think it’s cool at all, I even think some of it is flatly UnAmerican. I’m not going to get into most of that. But then, I hear Robert “Beto” O’Rourke questioning the modern validity of the U.S. Constitution, questioning whether it still works, two-hundred and thirty years later.
Well, the U.S. Constitution does work, when properly used and utilized. People like to say things like “Damn the man!” “Fuck the government!” “To hell with the Constitution!” What needs to be understood is that the U.S. Constitution is FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE from the Government. The Constitution, The Bill of Rights, guarantees the rights and freedoms of EVERY AMERICAN CITIZEN, it is our protection against the government. Freedom of speech, private property rights, protection against illegal search and seizure, the right to vote, protection from taxation without representation…read the Constitution, know your own rights. It’s something I plan on reading and re-familiarizing myself with this year. When they start talking about doing away with the Constitution, that isn’t for the benefit of the American People, not ever. The Constitution was written for the very purpose of protecting the rights of the average citizen, for the purpose of keeping the government from becoming too powerful or having too much control over the rights of the individual. That’s why this country exists, people came here from someplace where the government was telling them how they had to live. When they wrote The Constitution, they had every one of us and exactly this situation in mind, two hundred and thirty years later, they had that much foresight into the understanding of greedy, immoral, avarice plagued, political leaders, dictators, and kings. We’ve got a serious problem here when too many people don’t understand what The Constitution does for them, guarantees them, personally as individuals, or where we would all be without it.
I nabbed this copy of the basics back in 2005, it’s less than a hundred pages. Of course, if you’re feeling like it, you can get the huge gazillion page complete one. Here’s a link to on Amazon.
Here’s a link to The Bill of Rights. Yes, the Constitution has been amended many times. I’m rather fond of the 19th Amendment myself. But, that’s another beautiful thing about our Constitution, when something like that is out of whack, we can amend it as we learn. It would likely do the country a lot of good, however, if the citizens of this country all did some reading about all the wonderful rights they really do have as free citizens of the United States, before they go around bashing it, parroting politicians whom are insulting their intelligence in order to gain power and curtail these freedoms. (For the sake of us all, I hope people aren’t really that naive. Our founding fathers weren’t, that’s why they wrote this thing, to protect us.)
I’m an American, a Californian American. There’s plenty of information out there about what’s going on in California with regard to homelessness, drugs, wasted taxpayer dollars. I could post a bunch of videos, link a ton or articles, you’re welcome to look it all up for yourself. I live here, I see it every day. I don’t really understand how Speaker Pelosi has the gall to be planning a trip to Afghanistan, at taxpayer expense, no less, while the government is shut down. But, then, at seventy-eight, this is likely her last go-round so why not? Greed? (How long have people shouted that there need to be term limits?) Do you know what a lobbyist is? A lobbyist is a political influence peddler, they try to influence politicians to vote for things that help them, their businesses and companies, in some way. One hundred and nine lobbyists just went to Puerto Rico with thirty-three members of Congress. Please, if you’ve managed to be unfamiliar with that story, look it up so you can see for yourself who the lobbyists were, etc. I don’t understand how it is that people don’t see through the facades of some of these politicians. Some have suggested Speaker Pelosi should make a trip to California and get a grip on the mess that is San Francisco, visit the State Capital here and see about cleaning up her home state and district first. Never mind that the government is shut down and she’s been complaining for days about all these people not getting paid, but she thinks its okay to go spending.
What I want to say here is that it ought to be obvious to anyone of even marginal intelligence that many of our politicians think we’re stupid. ( And, one could argue that some of them do keep getting re-elected…)
Is there a crisis at our Southern Border? Be logical. Canada has said they will accept a million immigrants over the next three years. I’m going to guess that means legally, since they put a number on it. What if it has nothing to do with race, but has everything to do with money, with economics, with not being able to take care of the people we already have here, regardless of what race anyone is or the color of their skin? What if it has to do with politicians trying to grab power by increasing voter rolls? Ask yourself those questions honestly and do the homework and figure out what you really think about that as an American, if you’re an American. Have a factually informed opinion. I don’t care if someone is a three eyed Martian… from Mars, as long as they’ve got their papers in order, don’t have a history of violent shenanigans, and they come here legally to try to have a better life, that’s fine with me. If you’re an American, I want you to ask yourself where this country is at in ten or twenty years, if we don’t secure the Southern border. Just ask yourself for yourself and be as honest as you can with yourself about what you think. I want you to look up the homeless problems in L.A. and San Francisco and find the videos of the drug addicts shooting up out in the open in public, on public transportation. I want you to find out what is happening in the South American countries people are fleeing from. Where are we, as a country, in ten or twenty years, if we don’t fix this now? Keeping in mind that many of our current political leaders will have passed on in ten years, or so, but most of us Gen X-ers will still be here, and our kids, and our grandkids. I’m tired of listening to people who make no sense rant on. Is Russia a threat to our national security? Is China? Because if Russia isn’t a threat, then what difference does it make who may or may not have “colluded” with whom? But, if Russia is a threat, then is a porous border a smart thing to have? “Oh, you dummy, Teri. That’s Mexico south of the border, not Russia.” Yeah, yeah. For crying out loud, haven’t people ever watched a spy movie, some 007, or read something Tom Clancy wrote, or Jack Higgins?
Meanwhile, back on planet earth where where things are all screwy-like, they’re pitching the idea that there’s no crisis at the border, but, Global Warming is a National Emergency.
Do you ever go outside? I do. I’ve lived in California for forty years and the weather’s about the same as it ever was. Oh, but the science! Do you think that anyone would ever lie to the American people to make a buck? “Well, gosh, golly, no! That would be immoral!” Greed. Unscrupulousness. Etc. I don’t believe in Global Warming as some impending catastrophe. I believe we’ve got a problem with polluted waterways, but the idea that the planet is heating up enough for it to really be a danger to the human race? Nope. Not selling me on that. China’s going to put an artificial moon in the sky though, that seems like it might be some cause for actual concern…. Did you know that in the 1970’s they thought, and reported, we were heading into another ice age? Yep. But, you don’t hear that story anymore. Perhaps that didn’t scare people enough, because, you know, Parkas. Do you know how much money there is to be made if we’re all having to make the change to “green energy” and solar whatever? People are either that greedy, or they aren’t. Do you think their aren’t Global Warming lobbyists? It’s super big business. Link. Link. And it always has been. When I hear politicians crying out that Global Warming is a National Emergency, what I really hear them saying is they want industrial lobbyists to spend more money lobbying them trying to convince them otherwise. Cynical? If you’re watching the television weather forecast and the weather person states that right at that moment it’s pouring down rain where you live, it’s a hail storm, it’s coming down in buckets, and then you go to the window and look out on a clear, dry, day, not a cloud in the sky, what do you believe? (Capitalism isn’t corrupt, but sometimes people are. The answer isn’t to give those people more control or power.) I could be wrong, generally though, I feel awful for all the earnest people who believe in some of these causes because I think they’re being taken advantage of.
Yesterday, BuzzFeed got themselves a lot of hits on their website after running an article that was later in the day said to be inaccurate by the office actually conducting the investigation that was the subject of the story. But, the media, all day long, they all carried the story, were all over it. It was what is called “Yellow Journalism.” I learned that in junior high when I wrote for, and briefly co-edited, the school newspaper. You don’t hear that term very often these days but we ought to because it is completely rampant. The story was crap, and what they didn’t have, was some tough editor there in the doorway of the newsroom telling them, “I know you hate this guy and you want to get him, but it’s crap. You don’t have it. Don’t run it.” Reporting things like that, in that way, is IRRESPONSIBLE. Our media is out of control. That’s dangerous. Ask yourself if you would want to be tried and convicted by mob rule, whether you’re guilty or innocent or what? Take a step back and give it all an objective look. Reporting the news is a job of reporting the FACTS. “In Iowa today, Senator Gnip-Gnop made three campaign stops. He visited Chompsies Diner where he listened to local farmers discuss issues regarding corn futures before boarding the train for South Dakota, where temperatures are expected to drop well below freezing before morning.” NOT… “In Iowa today, Senator Gnip-Gnop made three campaign stops, and we don’t know why he bothered. He’s a dirty, stinky, liar, and everything he says is lies lies lies! Follow us on Twitter!” It’s completely disgraceful the way some of these alleged news folks behave. ( For the record, only two U.S. Presidents have ever been impeached, Andrew Johnson, and Bill Clinton, both of whom were acquitted. Richard Nixon faced impending impeachment but chose to resign.) ( As of August 2018, Fox News Channel was reported by Forbes as having spent two hundred consecutive months at number 1 in the ratings.)
“I got this essay on the fall of Rome, I didn’t even know they were in trouble.”
~ Invasions, Economic troubles and over reliance on slave labor, rise of the Eastern Empire, over expansion and military spending but also the weakening of the Roman Legions and military, government corruption and political instability, the arrival of the Huns and the migration of Barbarian tribes, the loss of traditional Roman values to a new form of religion/type of worship~
(Is anything like that going on in the U.S.? Nahhh…that’s just silly….right?) Link.
There’s a “divide and conquer” tactic at work in American politics, and I’m so tired of watching and listening to other Americans buy into it, because it’s a detriment to us all, to freedom. There’s a destabilization effort going on from the bottom up, using and utilizing those on the lowest rungs of our society, promising people more in exchange for votes, and it’s nothing but a political strategy for power. It seems like some of our politicians will say anything to get elected, but that doesn’t bother me so much as people believing it. It’s snake oil selling season. They aren’t offering more. Oh, it sounds like it in the short-term, but in the long-term, they’re offering less and less, while they take more and more from all Americans, regardless of skin color, religion, political party. It’s power-hungry greed and avarice as career politicians are resorting to trying to sell the American people on ideas of Socialism and Communism, not for our benefit, for theirs. Ideas that are the absolute antithesis of everything the United States, being American, is about. They’ve screwed it all up so badly, with all the money and power they already have, that they are now telling the American people that what they need is just more money and more power. “You know, if you’ll all just go along with letting the government control the entirety of your lives, let go of this old Constitution thingy, they’ll fix it all, because they’ve done so well already!” I think it’s more likely they’d all book themselves a trip to wherever, or eat even fancier dinners, or build higher walls around their own houses so they don’t have to listen anymore to all the dumb people, the useful idiots, who voted them into power. The majority of our politicians live very well. People are terribly afraid of being seen as being unkind or uncaring, while not giving themselves the benefit of logic and reason, sometimes to the point of seeming denial and delusion. Present day Americans have got to let go of their guilt about histories they weren’t even alive for and had nothing to do with, because it keeps us from moving forward together as a people and a country, as Americans, and from making the best decisions for everyone who is an American. (Because other countries do seem to tend to try to make the best decisions they can for their countries and their people, they don’t seem to be of a mind to make themselves the last on the list, generally speaking.) We’ve been given a great gift of the knowledge of these histories not so we could collapse under a weight of guilt, and infighting, and fear, from them, but so that we could learn not to let these things happen again to any of us as we are all Americans, that’s our common ground. Do you take care of your neighbor’s house and your neighbors bills, before you take care of your own, or instead of taking care of your own? The United States helps a lot of people, a lot of countries, throughout the world. The United States is the house of every American citizen, and that should matter to every American citizen. I care about my country. I care about it remaining a free country, for every American. And for every person still looking for the light of the hope of a better life, the chance at a better life, because if the United States is turned into something other than this beautiful, free, America, that I love, then all that hope goes away, the light of liberty goes out for all those people too.