A year in the life...

Independence Day
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 - Independence Day - Techno-Impressionist Museum - Techno-Impressionism - art - beautiful - photo photography picture - by Tony Karp

Well, it's Independence Day, and it looks like the country has come full circle. We started with a president named George, who said he didn't want to be king, and ended up with a president named George who wants to be king.

Along the way, we've had FDR, who told us that we have nothing to fear but fear itself, in contrast with the current administration, who uses fear and manufactured crises to control American citizens. We've had JFK, who made us proud to be Americans, with America respected and trusted around the world, as compared with the current administration, who has set America on a divisive course, hated and feared around the world, our foreign policy expressed in insults, demands, threats, and bombing.

So where are we headed? As someone old enough to remember FDR, and everything since, I believe that America has not been this close to total disaster since the Civil War.

Our economy has been pushed to the edge by tax cuts for the rich, and by never-ending wars. Government agencies are shot through with cronies and corruption to the point where they barely function, catering to the needs of political contributors rather than the people of America. Our military, once the world's greatest, is being pushed to the breaking point by the most inept bunch ever to oversee its functioning. There is a health care disaster looming, and the environment is either neglected or being sold to the highest bidder. Social programs, of the sort started by FDR and JFK, are being stripped to the bone, putting millions at risk. Our country is headed towards a theocracy, with religious extremists dictating social and scientific policy.

Our foreign policy is totally lacking in diplomacy, run by people who think bluster and threats will be enough. The world rallied around America after September 11, but all of that good will and empathy has been thrown away. Instead of looking for places in the world that need our help, the administration is looking for new places to bomb. Instead of standing as a member of a community of nations, we stand alone. We have become a nation that ignores treaties, condones torture, inhuman treatment, and indefinite detention without a public trial. There is no doubt that the administration is guilty of the same sort of war crimes that were tried at Nuremberg.

Where are we headed? I don't know, and it's a little bit scary. I don't fear for myself. I'm old and if it ends tomorrow it was a pretty good ride. But I fear for my children and for my grandchildren who have everything ahead of them. I hope there's still time to do something to end this nightmare before it's too late.


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