Getting Reality in 21st Century America: Adrift With a Minnow’s Brain in a Sea of Whales

First, try to remember the basics you learned in high school sciences like physics, chemistry, biology, and geology, and try to equate those times  with today.  Take global warming.  In 2014 we have scientists and counter-scientists (Have Gun Will Travel hired out by those who wish to defunct the reality of manmade global warming).  The real scientists are in consensus that global warming is caused by Nature and Man alike.  But the pseudo-scientists hired by smokestack industries debunk the real scientists when it comes to holding ourselves accountable for warming up the planet and causing terrible consequences like melting ice caps and glaciers and causing the water levels to make a new lake out of Florida.  Of course those scientists who say global warming is a hoax do take contributions from Exxon, Coal-Fired electric companies, and the Koch Brothers, you know, any big smoke-belching industry that is scared to death at the thought of spending billions of dollars to clean up their act.  After all where would the executive bonuses come from if they were forced to spend it all on cleaning up the land, water, and filtering the smokestacks?  Forget who messed it all up for future generations.

So if science is a search for truth, then something is rotten in Denmark (and in America and our self-induced electronic addictions and distractions), I fear.  We just cannot be bothered with looking out for our own welfare and holding public servants accountable, now can we?  Could it really be true that we are just as avaricious as the Conquistadors who slayed the Aztecs and many other American Indian tribes in order to bring them Christianity while stealing their gold and their land?  And the Crusaders, of course, who tried to take back the Holy Land from the Infidels and just so happened to steal all the gold and silver they could manage from the great temple in Istanbul that was rumored to be held by Muslims.  When the Knights Templar found that it was still occupied by Christian priests and monks, it gave them great pause.  So they thought and thought on it.  And then they took the Church by force and pillaged all its riches including all the gold and silver anyway.  Not a very Christian think to do, was it?  But in the world of Homo sapiens reasoning that might is right, the truth and the gold and the goodness of man takes it in the shorts.

In these times a president can get elected by a religious group without ever worrying about the church getting their tax-exempt status pulled.  Enter Jerry Falwell of the Liberty Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia.  Lynchburg?  The reverend Falwell’s group, the Moral Majority, put out hit lists on who to vote against, and don’t you know they were all Democrats?  Godless Liberals, every one.  And big-spending Democrats to boot.  Go figure. 

Reckon Ronald Reagan would have raised hell about the separation of church and state if the Moral Majority had been backing Walter Mondale instead of himself, the one and only Gipper?  Who among us when we sat in Poly Sci 101 class so long ago would have ever imagined having a religious group with enough power to elect presidents?  And Congressmen?  So why study at all when it all boils down not to political techniques, but the influence of religious groups to bring God into the polling booths?  And He does move in mysterious ways.  Especially when “Goebbelesque” trolls like Rove has billions to work with in the GOP election war chests?  Money trumps truth, especially when applied to zombie voters whose fingers are glued to crab-walking their cellphones.  No need to bother with politics….they’re all liars, they say, anyway.

And since when did we come to believe that we were so righteous that we could be pro-life and bomb and kill those who were working in abortion clinics?  Flat out actin’ like terrists as I live and breathe.  Damn!  Did Toby Keith and his bubba friends run over our collective American brains when he set out to run his pickup truck over the Dixie Chicks CD’s?  Seem like a crazy bunch of notions at work or what?

 And take our soldiers who we send to combat over lies like Saddam Hussein is fixin’ to shoot some chemical and/or biological missiles at key American cities?  And that, shucks, we caint wait around ‘til that smoking gun comes in the form of a mushroomed-shaped cloud, now can we?  I never knew anyone dumb enough to swallow all that even when we were in grade school.  But we been vaccinated with dumb-down serum.

And how about them Supreme Court justices giving big money UNLIMITED ability to spend for whatever candidate they want to buy to do their bidding in Congress and other places where the words like “public servants” have become as useless as a new wart on a barn rafter rat’s ass in Farmer Brown’s corn crib.

Somehow that metaphor sets me to thinking on General Cornwallis when assessing the gravity of his defeat at Yorktown by George Washington and the scalawag American colonists in full revolt.  The good general C lost the colonies to the Yanks, no less.  Ah, the American Revolution, the only good one in history we have been taught.  But anyhow, holding back tears, Cornwallis instructed the band to play the song, “The World Turned Upside Down.”  Maybe that was a beginning in what the Hopi Indians call “Crazyworld” where nothing seems right or natural or logical, like when Joe Namath and the New York Jets beat the Baltimore Colts in the Super Bowl some many decades ago.  Maybe it was in 1969….I can’t recall.  Someone did say:  “What a blow to clean living.”  See Joe Namath was the first of the long-haired quarterbacks in the NFL.  He was a threat to Billy Bob’s idea of clean athletes, you see. How dated that material seems today. But anyway, the Jets winning over the mighty Colts was such a shock to perhaps even trump Cornwallis’ despair at defeat at Yorktown.  He was forced to sail back the long way home to England to face the music and the disgrace of letting the Yanks whup his ass good. 

But back to the Supreme Court and the justices who allowed that you could spend a gazillion dollars to buy the candidate of your choice.  Hell, does that seem like America?  I mean, I ain’t got a gazillion dollars, not even a billion, so what chance have I got to get my voice and needs attended to here in this land of opportunity and equal rights under the Constitution?  Maybe George W. Bush knew something when he called it “just “goddamed piece of paper.”  Doesn’t reality these days seem like Alice at the Mad Hatter’s Merry Unbirthday Party?

Speaking of paper, the dollar is still good.  Stocks are up.  America is back.  All those whiners about how our dollar (not being backed by gold or silver or anything hard and shiney) would surely collapse.  But it hasn’t yet.  And that is one of the biggest puzzlers of these times.  The Fed just prints more and more dollars, yet no value is added to the dollar.  People still accept it as a currency with its own value, I guess.  But why?  Dunno.  These are strange times, ain’t they?  Crazy times.  Especially when our gummint done borrowed over $17 Trillion dollars that we caint even pay the interest on.  That’s 17 billion billion dollars   And other countries that used to step up and loan us the money by buying our Treasury Bonds and Notes have shrunk back on the bulk of what is required each year to keep our country and gummint running.  So how does America still make good on its payments if it cannot borrow all the money to pay everybody and everything off that they owe?  Well get this.  The Fed (that prints our money) not only borrows more money but it also BUYS those Treasuries their ownself that Japan and China refuses to buy anymore.  They’re done.  But how can the Fed BORROW money and SELL Treasuries AND BUY the debt back that nobody else will have?  Did you get it?  Never mind, I didn’t either.  And all the while the government pays interest on the National Debt, you understand.  Money ain’t free (even though it is just paper).  Golly gee whiskers, it don’t look all that good.  But you can’t make crazy stuff like this up, I got to tell you.

In these strange times where big money buys truth and trumps the common good, I drift back to the days of my childhood.  Those were simpler times.  Way back then, I had utmost respect for my country, my president, my mother and father, and the Supreme Court.  Back then truth was not debated so much.  It just was.  There were flowers and birds in the mind, if you can picture it.  And fresh air. These days the US Supreme Court has recently ruled that you can give ANY AMOUNT to any candidate running for office.  The donor may be an individual, a corporation, a PAC, or any other imaginable entity.  You can buy politicians and buy the law of the land your way if you got enough paper dollars.  Sounds crazy, I know.  In this great land of the free.  Sadly, we Yanks have become crazier than a bunch of peach orchard bore hogs.  I got to tell you, dear reader; it ain’t that easy to write about.  Much less for my pen to follow.