Posted by: Cartoon Pig Dog | October 29, 2008

Where are we now?

  As we enter the final week before the election I think I will wander away from the campaigns and the candidates a bit and take a look at where things are right now for this country. This has been one of the most hotly contested presidential races in history and while the airwaves and internet have been buzzing with accusations passed back and forth by the candidates and their supporters, the real world has been plugging along almost unnoticed by those totally immersed in the campaigns.

  So, what has been going on while our heads were all focussed on the election? Let’s take a quick look.

   The 700 billion dollar bailout for Wall Street was passed and the funds made available to get the economy back on track. So, where is that money going?  Well, 70 million of it (10%) has been dedicated to paying bonuses to the CEOs of the companies that caused the crash in the first place. Lehman’s top executives recieved sign on bonuses to stay with the banks that aquired their divisions in bankrupty proceedings. AIG was given an 85 billion dollar line of credit and immediately spent $440,000 of it on a celebration retreat at the St. Regis resort in Monarch Beach, Calif., while those executives that were fired over the crash will keep millions in severance pay and keep the millions that they made from “profits” that should rightly go to shareholders and to pay claims for those insured under people like AIG. I thought this bailout was designed to help the economy and the American people, but apparently it’s biggest goal was to save the millionaires that got us into this mess.

   On the International scene, things have heated up in both Afghanistan and Iraq as U.S. forces have staged aerial and land attacks inside both Pakistan and Syria, raising tensions between the U.S. and both of these countries while angering several other countries like Russia and Iran. Even the Iraqi government is having a hard time trying to decide how to deal with the attack on Syria while negotiating a security deal with the U.S. and also trying to maintain it’s good relations with Syria. People from many countries including some of our allies are beginning to question the actions of the U.S. in these countries and wonder if the U.S. is trying to go too far as it comes dangerously close to entering into two more wars and possibly even as many as four more should Russia and Iran decide to retaliate in defense of Syria and Pakistan.

  And just what the hell has Dick Cheney been up to all this time? I have no idea, the guy has become so obscure that it’s almost as though he doesn’t exist anymore. George Bush cast his vote early for McCain and, according to some reports, on Friday, Bush asked the Attorney General, Michael Mukasey, to investigate 200,000 voter registrations for minor discrepancies in data, so he has now dipped his hands into the voter disenfranchising business in an attempt to keep the Whitehouse under Republican management. (This is not a stab at Senator McCain, I don’t believe the president was acting on any request from the Senator but rather on his own wishes to keep the Republicans in power)

   In my opinion, the worst thing to arise out of the current situations is the condition the country has fallen into, with the onslaught of so many issues at once (the wars, the economy, the election with it’s unprecedented harshness in campaign strategies and the disasters of the past couple years), we have become a country divided across more lines than ever before. Republicans and Democrats are screaming hateful epithets at each other in blogs and even in the streets, there have been crimes committed against each other in the names of their favorite candidates, people have been assaulted, others have pretended to have been assaulted, people have committed vandalism and many physical confrontations have been made across the country all in the name of politics. Racial tensions have increased, and although this is indirectly due to the fact that a black man is on the ballot, it’s really something that has been buried for a long time and just recently brought back to the surface by the election. Crimes against people of differing races has been on the rise as people let their old feelings of prejudice spill over into their political beliefs as well. The word “Nigger” has suddenly become one of the most searched words on the internet. Another word that has been showing up more and more frequently in internet searches is “Antichrist” (“is Obama the Antichrist?”), which brings me to the next division, religion. There have always been disagreements between religions, but recently those have become more notable and sometimes even border on becoming violent. Most notably, of course, is the Muslims, Muslims have become hated all across the nation and there are sites on the internet designed to convince people that “all Muslims are terrorists”, this isn’t true any more than it’s true that all Mormons are bigamists. The Muslim student in California who saved her neighbor from a rapist doesn’t sound like much of a terrorist to me. The Christians, Catholics, Baptists, Calvinists and others have all been criticising each other and smearing each other in webblogs and in online chat rooms and message boards, and, once again, the catalyst for all this seems to be the election as members from the various religions use the candidates to push the beliefs of their faith, and, of course, fight over what religion the candidates are. Obama is a Christian and McCain is a Southern Baptist. The last division I want to mention here is the “class” division. Mingling between classes has never been common in America, middle-class people are seldom invited to join in the events attended by the super rich, just as those of us in rural America seldom go to visit our good friends living in the refridgerator box behind the Salvation Army wharehouse, but this year we are openly fighting between classes, each blaming the others for the economic crisis we are now in when we all really know where the blame lies for that.

    We are facing the greatest crisis in the history of America and most of us are unaware of what that crisis really is. Our economy is crumbling, our relationships with other countries are crumbling, our war on terror is spreading into more countries and the morale of the American people has deteriorated into depression, anger  and confusion. But none of these things compare to the real crisis we are facing. The real crisis is the end of America as we know it, the deterioration of the American people into a people that hate too easily across too many lines, a people who shun their friends because of their political beliefs, a people who fight amongst themselves over property, money, religion and race, a people who have become distrustful of their neighbors and even their friends. A wise man once said “A nation divided unto itself can not stand”, well, this nation is divided, not between North and South, but between Liberal and conservative, between rich and poor, between black and white, and between right and wrong (although few really seem qualified to make the distinction between the two anymore).

    The trickle down effect doesn’t just apply to economics, it applies to ideas, beliefs and priorities as well. We have adopted the attitudes of the politicians. As they label each other as Liberal or Conservative using the words as insults we do the same to the supporters of those politicians, as they accuse each other of too far to the left and too far to the right, we do the same to each other, their opinions of people and companies become our opinions. They refuse to cooperate across the aisle with each other, so we do the same. It’s time to reverse the strategy to a trickle up effect.

     This country can’t be saved by our next president regardless of which candidate wins. We have to save it ourselves by leading the government for a change instead of the other way around. We have to show that we are willing to reach across the aisle and work together for solutions to our own problems, we have to shake hands with our black neighbor and welcome him into our white neighborhood, we need to come up with ideas of our own to help the economy and submit those ideas to the government for consideration, we have to find that middle ground that allows us to work in harmony with each other to accomplish those goals that would be beneficial to both sides of the isle and let the government know that we are not willing to go too far to the right or left, and we need to make it clear that the security of this country is important to everyone and that we will not continue to tolerate any incursions into other countries without the approval of not only congress, but the American people, if we are going to send our young men and women into a war, we have the right to know that they are being sent for the right reasons.  But most importantly, we have to get rid of our hate, our hate for those who are “different” from us, those that believe in a different religion or belong to another ethic group. This country’s biggest enemy is our own ability to hate each other.

    One last little note here on the aforementioned searches for “Antichrist”. If anyone has told you that Obama is the Antichrist, remember this: The Bible doesn’t give a description of the Antichrist. The book of Revelation (which most refer to when trying to claim someone to be the Antichrist) doen’t mention the Antichrist at all, it describes several “beasts” but never mentions the word “Antichrist”. In fact, the Bible never mentions the Antichrist period, this is just a being dreamed up by early Christians and taught about through the generations although there has never been a single word in the Bible to indicate that there ever was, or will be, such a person. The only books that mention the word at all is the first and second letters of John where the word is used in the plural form (“these are Antichrists”) to describe groups of people who oppose the teachings of Christ or commit deeds contrary to those teachings (theives, murderers, adulterers, etc.). So if anyone tries to tell you that Obama is the Antichrist, just tell them “he can’t be because there isn’t one.”

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Responses

  1. […] Where are we now? This has been one of the most hotly contested presidential races in history and while the airwaves and internet have been buzzing with accusations passed back and forth by the candidates and their supporters, the real world has been … […]

  2. “One last little note here on the aforementioned searches for “Antichrist”…………. if anyone tries to tell you that Obama is the Antichrist, just tell them “he can’t be because there isn’t one.”

    so true!!! Especially when you consider dictators like Omar Al-Bashir in Sudan who has till now killed 180,000 and driven out over 2 million~), Kim Jong-il in North Korea who holds over 250,000 people in torture camps), Shwe in Myanmar who uses children as soldiers and for forced labor and as porters for the army in war zones…. and others like them…..


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