Thursday, April 14, 2011
This week's daily news is certainly full of blues. Ironic that on the 150th anniversary of the Civil War our country seems more polarized than ever. While the self-righteous politicos like to talk about "the greatest country in the world," the quality of life in the USA continues to deteriorate. One day it's air traffic controllers falling asleep in increasing numbers, and another day we learn of even more tax loop holes for the most wealthy and the largest corporations. We've got blood, oil, and greed all over our hands and faces.
In 1861, session was unthinkable. Today, I'm not so sure. Critics of education like to compare the U.S. with other countries. Mostly China and Japan, but increasingly the Scandinavian countries. When I think of life in a country where the kind of energy expended on social justice is minimal because people come before profit, I think about Canada and then Sweden or Norway. Rarely about countries with millions. Maybe it's time for our United States to re-configure. It's been done many times in mostly amusing ways. Last year a very funny but fascinating attempt to divide the blue from the red states circulated widely around the Internet. Worked for me. I could live without ever setting foot in parts of the heartland, Arizona or So. California. The Bible belt isn't on my itinerary and many of this countries most incredible natural resources would be in my half. It's preposterous, I know, but the possibilities are enticing. I'll gladly swap the Everglades for the Napa Valley. The Rockies for the Mojave Desert or Death Valley.
I must say, the heart beats a little faster thinking about a land where those most vulnerable aren't forgotten, the budget really does resemble a moral document, and health care, women's reproductive rights, school funding, environmental safeguards, and a free press become non-issues because most agree on these crucial issues.
But I can't help thinking about the loss of resources and all the wheel-spinning we do just to have a discussion on these issues that shape the quality of our lives. Reminds me of the Paris Peace talks on the Vietnam War, where the parties involved took months just to agree on the shape of the table they'd sit at.
Recently, a friend of mine decided to call a halt to the status quo. It took the form of just dropping out for a while. Just sitting back and "watching the world go by" as John Lennon sang. I'd love to give that a try. Just don't know if it's in me. Too many reasons to stand up, plant my feet, and keep trying to put this experiment in democracy back together.
I need to rethink what to do about Kentucky and Louisiana. Any chance of annexing Lexington and New Orleans?