Since I have far too many issues on my mind than I could possibly devote individual posts to, I thought perhaps a State of the Union post would serve the purpose. I will no doubt be accused of taking a cynical approach; be that as it may, here are a few thoughts, in no particular order, on the currently prevailing political, social, economic and mental conditions in this great nation of ours.
Apparently the weather-related Jet Blue meltdown struck a nerve with our kind-hearted lawmakers. National Public Radio interviewed one passenger who, after waiving his Second, Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights in exchange for a ride in the sky, expressed a firm conviction that it was “unconstitutional” for airlines to keep passengers on grounded planes. Capitol Hill responded to his and others’ plea for redress of grievances with a Passenger’s Bill of Rights. But don’t expect too much: Barbara Boxer has no intention of restricting the use of x-ray machines or legalizing the currently prohibited possession of shampoo or scissors. She’s concerned primarily with the toilets flushing properly and related issues.
The neo-conservative democracy-spreading crew is facing non-binding criticism by members of Congress who reject the thought of actually making a decision, but are confronted with the terrifying prospect of having to explain their refusal to accept responsibility for declaring war in 2003. Their “suggestions” include limiting the mission in Iraq to hunting Al Qaeda and securing the borders. Only there is a slight problem: Al Qaeda prefers to hang out with our good friends in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan when they’re off duty. Congressman Ron Paul says it well here: http://www.house.gov/paul/tst/tst2007/tst022607.htm
Speaking of borders, we’ve made significant progress toward opening our own. New protections for the civil rights of illegal immigrants include the prospect of jail time for U.S. Border Patrol agents who resort to deadly force when their lives are threatened. And for those who wish to take the generous offers of Lady Liberty to the next level, Morris Dees and the SPLC stand ready to assist them with any lawsuits they might be contemplating against law enforcement or incensed citizens. Five million bucks anyone? Sure, it’s a little risky, but it could be worse. Don’t worry about the fence; it was just a paper treat for the discontented party faithful. Our first Latino President has already cut the funding. And if you run into the National Guard, just flash the guns. They’re not allowed to return fire. Be careful, though; don’t push it so far that they issue a statement condemning your behavior.
Now that we’ve taken on border patrol responsibilities for the Middle East, the size of our military is again proving inadequate. Capitol Hill isn’t ready to vote itself out of office by reinstituting the draft, but our Dear Leader has called for the first step towards implementing Charlie Rangel’s proposal through the establishment of a Civilian Reserve Corps. Of course, it would be strictly voluntary, because folks need to get used to the idea before they are “given the opportunity to serve” at gunpoint. See the future here: http://www.house.gov/apps/list/press/ny15_rangel/CBRStatementDraft01112007.html
Of course, anyone who pays attention knows that a larger military is essential in this world of proliferating weapons and sophisticated terrorism. If only they would pay even closer attention and recognize that such weapons and technology aren’t exactly free, and that much of the funds needed to obtain them are provided by … take a guess, anyone? The Congressman from Texas is again on target when he charges American foreign aid with creating multiple threats to our national security. But who listens to him?
On the energy front, our leaders have successfully deflected the well-deserved criticism of our policy of foreign dependence by proposing oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, thereby appearing inclined to move forward while giving the green lobby a golden opportunity to tear their hair and file their lawsuits. Simply tapping into the huge deposits under the Alaskan North Slope would presumably have been too easy.
But the greatest environmental issue facing the world today is Global Warming. I know, I’ve always been skeptical of this one, but I’m convinced. Not by the fact that certain parts of the world are recording the warmest temperatures in a century. That would indicate to me that similar conditions prevailed - oh, say - a century ago? Nor am I convinced by the alleged scientific consensus: half a century ago they were certain that we were entering another Ice Age, and they also agree that the incredible order and intricate design we see in every aspect of creation is the result of a cosmic burp four billion years ago. Seriously, an evolutionist of all people ought not to be concerned with a little warming. They want us to believe that this universe, this earth, the innumerable forms of life on this earth, and ultimately we ourselves, all managed to arrive relatively unscathed at approximately the 4,000,000,000th anniversary of our original emergence from nothingness, against odds which are incomprehensible to the greatest mathematicians who ever lived; and then they expect us to further believe that our continued existence is threatened by a five degree increase in average world temperature on the Fahrenheit scale?
So how have I become convinced that Global Warming is the defining environmental crisis of our time? Simply because I recognize the power of money to define crises. The UN desperately needs another way to raise money to fund its increasingly corrupt existence, and a carbon tax seems to be just the thing. A carbon tax, however, can only be proposed with a show of credibility if Global Warming is indeed a problem: hence, it must be a problem. Right?
Education is one of the great success stories of our time. Two generations have now swallowed the previously mentioned fairy tale and pronounced it good. Now that they know God doesn’t exist, their children can be trained to place their blind faith in a more tangible benefactor. While political parties vie with one another to ensure that No Child is Left Behind, their young subjects receive mandatory STD vaccinations before joining their peers to learn about the different kinds of families, why pregnancy is a disease, and all the problems that Big Brother can solve if we only give him the opportunity (read: funding).
We remain convinced that we can only combat the problems of addiction, violence and crime through education, more specifically by increased spending for education. The inverse relationship between national funding of education and national crime rates hasn’t yet occurred to us as having significance. If we could only give these kids free health insurance too, there’s no telling where their lives might lead, though a good guess would be in the direction of whatever else might be had for as little effort.
When political supporters of the ongoing wholesale slaughter of unborn children turn in for the evening, the satisfaction of a few kind deeds could presumably go a long way towards a good night’s sleep. That may explain why the New Delhi Sands Fly, Pacific salmon and spotted owls have so many supporters in the District. But the latest philanthropic effort of Pennsylvania lawmakers would ban live pigeon shooting. In a few years the last great question of the Second Amendment will have been solved: it’s not about duck hunting. Our founders would never have condoned such cruelty to innocent animals.
And, of course, the carefully developed policy of “divide and conquer” continues to prove effective against concerted grassroots efforts to fight corruption, take back individual freedoms and preserve American sovereignty. The constant focus on multi-culturalism keeps Americans myopically obsessed with the interests of our “groups,” while the rugged, “I can” individualism of previous generations is replaced with a whining, “I want” mentality. Our sense of community is lost as we cram our parents into nursing homes, our children into after-school programs, our infants into day-care and ourselves into the rat-race. Under the pretext of “improving quality of life” we supported zoning ordinances that segregate and compartmentalize our neighborhoods and our lives. Now that we miss the small-town feel our parents enjoyed, we want the same land-use planners who destroyed our neighborhoods to plan them into existence again.
On the bright side, our esteemed fellow citizens in New York City have begun an effort to recover their lost sense of community. They just held a citywide pillow-fight in Union Square. No kidding.
It’s good to see other folks finally doing something.
And I almost forgot: the final word on the state of the Union is that it is about to grow. By about 500,000,000 people. The name is changing too: we’ll call it the North American Union. Tim Findley has a must-read article on it here: http://www.rangemagazine.com/specialreports/07-sp-north-american-union.pdf
Conspiracy theory, you say? Talk to me in five years.