There are a few things that I have heard and seen that are bothersome. Every generation has its push towards passing or allowing certain social, legislative, or economic changes. Women’s Suffrage and Civil Rights are two examples of how good can come of some of these things. The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) which, for example, allows you one writ in federal court and you’re done whether new evidence shows up after that original writ was submitted or you just had a crappy lawyer. Messing with habeas corpus is not an option… ever. The Assault Weapons Ban of two years prior was also completely illegal and proved itself absolutely ineffective. These two solid examples are of some bad legislation.
The point I am making is that whenever something happens that gets a lot of people attention this huge ball gets rolling. Sometimes the ball gets rolling quickly as in the case of the events surrounding the World Trade Center tower destruction. Suddenly there is a new class of people called terrorists with no habeas corpus around the globe. Many countries group everyone who is a rebel, criminal, or whatever “undesirable” as a terrorist thereby imprisoning and torturing them indefinitely. What a wonderful precedent we have set for the world. This is one example of how using emotionalism and short sighted wisdom to make massive policy changes can affect all of mankind for decades to come. It seems like a couple more attacks and we may as well call all civil liberties a delusion used to incite terrorist attacks. I am digressing.
This massive push for sweeping changes is widespread and some of it is less consequential than other changes. More subtle changes are just as worrisome. For example, a recent NPR story examines a report that current generations are not doing as well financially as previous generations. The reasons for this are numerous but we have had conservatives spoon feeding us their policies now for almost thirty years it is no wonder that the financial climate for the average person is much more difficult than before. All these large corporations have been lobbying for stricter bankruptcy laws, tax breaks for themselves, consolidation of media outlets; the list goes on. These corporations which are run by the richest 1% of our country generally have one thing in mind: increase in revenues to report to their shareholders. That is all that matters. If I bought a steel pump for my tires 30 years ago, I would still have it today. Nowadays, I have to buy a new pump every year or two because the plastic breaks. And, figuring inflation in, I am still paying more for today’s lesser quality pump!
Speaking of economics, I love hearing about how there is this huge crisis with Social Security. Nate and I were discussing how the outgoing generation will be the most massive injection to the US treasury in the history of our country. These folks have billions of dollars in 401(k)s, taxable IRAs, stocks; you name it. All of these securities will be taxed through the nose. They will be virtually paying for their health and Social Security costs and then some. So why has our President and others in our leadership blown the horn so hard on this everyone is freaking out about how Social Security is dead? Isn’t it interesting how over the last 7 years a huge pallet of century’s worth of social and civil progress is reversed all in the name of funding and managing a war and said terrorists? The money will not be there because our regime in D.C. is spending it all. We just got done paying off the Spanish-American War last year.
I am surprised by the effectiveness of the media and how crafty sources are to bending public opinion to fill some agenda under the guise of doing good. Until we invaded Iraq, there were no Al Qaeda operating there because Hussein hated them and other fundamentalists. Now the place is crawling with them and we are being told if we don’t fight them there they will attack us here. How does any of this make sense when the fellas who attacked us were from a supposed ally Saudi Arabia? So much rhetoric and “wag the dog” manipulation goes on it sickens me.
Oh, and everyone has a problem with conservatives and Republicans. I am not going to defend them but after listening to some of the Democrats and liberals spout their version of the same thing it seems that politicians as a whole have no idea what they are doing. After seeing the Democrats pass this last spending bill virtually allowing this highly unpopular war (never mind foreign and domestic legality) to continue, it seems that there won’t be an end to any of this in years to come. Democrats or liberals are, in my opinion, as much as a poison to our country as the conservative junta currently running the show. It is never either of these that pass anything good for the greater people in our country. It is more those progressives which have change in mind. Why do our leaders insist on declaring unwinable wars? Supposed war on drugs, terrorism, what is next? To wrap all this up, I guess what I am trying to say is, it is very hard to pick through all the garbage we see and hear. Every ounce of it has been tainted by agenda, policy, and whatever else. How do we actively participate as voters and peaceful protesters when seemingly everything we think we know can be potentially false? A mustard seed of truth is magnified, exploited, and processed into something capable of so much harm and misinformation. It is a wonder how anyone not privy to these machinations can possibly interpret them to put into action the necessary means to counter them.