Sunday, August 31, 2008

Introduction

Greetings -- I welcome anyone who happens upon this humble site, which for me will serve as the place where I can pour the contents of my molten brain into this machine on my lap. For too many years I have been advised to write, to care enough to bother to discipline myself in order that others might have the ah pleasure of hearing the thoughts that keep me up in the dead of night wondering what has happened to my world, my beloved country, my America?

My eldest daughter is, for now, an expatriate. She is 27, and much of what she has seen in this country is shameful to her, impossible to be proud of as we Americans should, as we would like to, as we yearn to. She has traveled to almost 40 countries and lived in ways that most of us would find difficult at best. But for her there is more honor in that than in tacitly supporting a country that has at last reached so many of the Orwellian signposts we all thought so unlikely when I was young.

Yes, look at us, look at how far we've come! The giant television screens constantly broadcasting constant stories of endless warfare. The strange ways of our new language -- the language of a country that finally has achieved war as a constant state of mind, and whose language reflects that. Our politicians seem convinced, as was Stalin, that they can wade to Peace through an ocean of blood. How is that possible, my brothers and sisters? Have we not seen from the dawn of Time that violence begets violence begets violence -- that the cycle of hatred that plagues the Middle East is as old as -- the Middle East! It doesn't work, warfare -- it is not the way of the kind of civilization that can sustain life on a planet so fragile as ours has become. WAR IS A LUXURY WE CANNOT AFFORD. We don't even have the oil for it.

But my god do we have the WMDs! Yes, we certainly have the weapons for endless war, and it would seem from the incredible facts that have been leaked from the White House during the last few years that these weapons are in the hands of a few good ole boys with very itchy trigger fingers, and lousy aim, eh Mr. Cheney? As Mr. Obama said so eloquently this last week -- we ARE a better country than this. We have to be. We must not allow ourselves to continue to be seen by a good portion of the world's population as "The Evil Empire". I know that this thought would be an abomination to most "god-fearing Americans", but it is unfortunately true that WE seem like the bad guys to so many in the world. When I consider the great service our America rendered to Europe in the two World Wars, it breaks my heart to think of Abu Ghraib, or extraordinary rendition, or legal torture -- actions that have previously been considered as cruel and unusual punishment suddenly are not in this Brave New World of ours. What have we become?