Is it just me?

Sharing my opinion with the people who had ‘friended me’

long before there was Facebook and/or Twitter:

Something is happening to us and I feel it.  I  see it on our televised broadcasts even though mainstream media reporting is ever so limited due to time constraints (have to get the weather and sports!), political affiliations and news editors.  Of course there is even more of our discord available online- everywhere!  Therefore, I can’t point to a single incident as there seems to be so many things – both nationally and worldwide.

US influence upon others as a condition of  ‘accepting’ our foreign aid allowed us to move the ‘chess pieces’ that best served our interests, and those of our co-conspirators coalition to establish a more perfect union – a fair trade I guess.  What have we sown with the seeds we have planted since the 1950 – the year of my birth?  Is this what was meant by the quote, “Maybe the chickens are coming home to roost?”

Maybe in our country, it’s due to years of so many being trapped ‘under the dome’ of poverty or ‘disappeared’ by either government-condoned torture or localized militia-inspired defiance and brutality.  Obviously, the majority of the violence and number of people in our prisons is in direct proportion to the ‘drug war’ and Uneven Justice:
State Rates of Incarceration By Race and Ethnicity as indicated in this 7 year-old study:[http://www.sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/rd_stateratesofincbyraceandethnicity.pdf  or a more recent (April 2014) report from the Bureau of Prisions (Federal)

federal inmates

http://www.bop.gov/about/statistics/statistics_inmate_ethnicity.jsp

The US Department of Justice has come to the realization that we don’t have the money, resources or prisons to keep sending so many ‘up the river’ for so long.  Problem is: we are starting to let some really bad people back out on the streets and the NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard) are rightfully concerned! But let me stay focused on generalities.

Here at home and in cities coast-to-coast, in the neighborhoods, in Buffalo Wild Wings (the number one franchise that pours the most beer in America by the way!), in the supermarkets and even in some churches, something is definitely happening between the races.  It is also happening between the LGBTQ community and the ‘straight and narrow’ establishment.  Wow! There is a label [establishment] I haven’t mentioned since the 60s!  I sense it in the ‘haves’ and the ‘never will haves’ and in the to-be-expected political opposites – but at a level heretofore unknown.  Some even validate their actions based on the written words, interpretations and prophecies of their god. That is their choice.

We as a nation, as an international family, were so close after Beirut; Oklahoma; Bali; the German nightclubs; September 11 and Sandy Hook. We cared and prayed for each other.  We opened doors or held it open for the next person behind us. We hugged, greeted each other warmly and consoled one another. We communicated.

Other than the dismal economy, two wars, numerous ‘conflicts’ and life-altering legal decisions what else is causing such malaise?  Some of those court decisions that immediately come to mind are:

  •  Discrimination based on sexual orientation [repeal of DOMA and 19 states allowing legal same-sex marriages]
  • Birth control and abortion
  • End of life; Power of Congress to enforce civil rights[preclearance from the United States Department of Justice before implementing any changes to their voting laws or practices based on their histories of racial discrimination in voting, is unconstitutional because it no longer reflects current societal conditions.]
  • Freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures[surveillance is conducted to obtain foreign intelligence for national security purposes]
  • Right to remain silent[The Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination does not protect an individual’s refusal to answer questions asked by law enforcement before he or she has been arrested or given the Miranda warning.]

I am inclined to wonder aloud:  “Is this new climate due, in ANY part, to the election of an African-American to the Presidency – twice?  If so, I wonder even further: “What vitriol will come forth if ever a woman, any woman, of any ethnicity, age, straight or gay, should ever become President of the United States of America ?”  Some would call it ‘playing the race card’ or the ‘black card’.  But what card were we playing before the question of race was ever raised?  I swear I never heard it being called the ‘white card’ for every president since my birth!  I did understand there to be an ‘old boys club’ but that wasn’t a ‘card’ was it?  Wasn’t it just the status quo?  Will the next card be ‘the sexist card’, ‘gender card’ or the ‘openly gay card’ since we have never had to consider that card in our ‘playing hand’ before?

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By the way, the LGBTQ community has started putting the capital “T” first in some literature to increase the focus on that group of disenfranchised Americans.  Additionally, phrases such as “on the down low”, “openly gay”, and “out of the closet” are being removed from the daily lexicon.

We have even started preserving as those locations, buildings and places that were instrumental in changing the straight vs. gay culture as we have with other other historically-significant ones.   From Wikipedia: The United States National Historic Landmark Program is designed to recognize and honor the nation’s cultural and historical heritage. The program was formally inaugurated with a series of listings on October 9, 1960; as of April 22, 2014, there are 2,532 designated landmarks. A National Historic Landmark (NHL) is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its national historical significance. [bold added]

We overcame, to a point, having a Catholic as the President in the 60s (some were afraid would be unduly influenced by the Pontiff) and even considered one who is Mormon (which was treaded upon ‘lightly’ during the debates as we were/are still confused as to what impact the Prophet may have had). This site lists over 310 Religions and Denominations in the United States:

http://undergod.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000068

We could be in for a long debate if a potential candidate falls outside the Protestant/Catholic shroud!

There are so many “Monday Morning Quarterbacks (MMQs)” who can tell us clearly how much better we would have been with the person who LOST in our democratic elections!  The late great Texas Longhorn’s coach, Darrell Royal is officially quoted as saying, “Only three things can happen when you pass the football and two of them are bad.”  The MMQs do it (Republicans AND Democrats) incessantly until the next person is duly elected ( 4 or 8 years of it) then it starts all over again!  “Will the circle be unbroken…?”

Don’t you get a good warm fuzzy when the elections are over and the pre-election commercials, signs all over the corners and in your neighbor’s lawns, literature and robo-calls end?  Only to turn on any media source the day after and hear the ‘woulda-shoulda-coulda’ apocalyptic ‘woe betide us’ rhetoric begin!

Do you even listen to how flippantly television pundits refer to the POTUS by his last name – very rarely “President Obama”?  And oh by the way, I noticed it many presidents before: Bush this…Clinton that!  [I dare not list all 11 since I was born..we didn’t have a television until Ike anyway!]  Would you or I ever dare do the same to a company CEO much less the Commander in Chief and Leader of the Free World?

I realize there are a plethora of suggestions, facts, reasons and opinions (used to love the the show Point/Counterpoint) by highly educated people from jurists and politicians to social scientists and laypersons as to why we are in the funk that we are.  Which of them (rightist/centrist/leftist/socialist) gives us the best answer that the majority of us would agree to?  Whomsoever answers that should be our next president.  Because the majority of us would have agreed and voted that person into office and the minority of us would be okay with that right?  Heh, heh!

“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”       ~ Abraham Lincoln

I will end this sharing of my opinions and wondering, “Is it just me?” with the lyrics from “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield…

There’s something happening here

What it is ain’t exactly clear

There’s a man with a gun over there

Telling me I got to beware

I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound

Everybody look what’s going down

 

There’s battle lines being drawn

Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong

Young people speaking their minds

Getting so much resistance from behind

 

I think it’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound

Everybody look what’s going down

 

What a field-day for the heat

A thousand people in the street

Singing songs and carrying signs

Mostly say, hooray for our side

 

It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound

Everybody look what’s going down

 

Paranoia strikes deep

Into your life it will creep

It starts when you’re always afraid

You step out of line, the man come and take you away

 

We better stop, hey, what’s that sound

Everybody look what’s going down

Stop, hey, what’s that sound

Everybody look what’s going down

Stop, now, what’s that sound

Everybody look what’s going down

Stop, children, what’s that sound

Everybody look what’s going down

202959

…and a song by Emile Sande:

EMELI SANDÉ LYRICS

“Hope”
I hope that the world stops raining
Stops turning its back on the young
See nobody here is blameless
I hope that we can fix all that we’ve done
I really hope Martin can’t see this
I hope that we still have a dream
I’m hoping that change isn’t hopeless,
I’m hoping to start it with me
I just hope I’m not the only one
Yeah I just hope I’m not the only one

I hope we start seeing forever
Instead of what we can gain in a day
I hope we start seeing each other
Cause don’t we all bleed the same?
I really hope someone can hear me
That a child doesn’t bear the weight of a gun
Hope I find the voice within me to scream at the top of my lungs
I just hope I’m not the only one
Yeah I just hope I’m not the only one

Louder I cannot hear you
How can things be better left unsaid?
Call me, call me a dreamer
But it seems that dreams are all that we’ve got left

I hope we still have a heartbeat
I hope we don’t turn to stone
At night when you turn the lights off
I hope you don’t cry alone
I hope we stop taking for granted
All of the land and all of the sea
I’m taking a chance on loving (mankind)
I hope that you take it with me

I just hope I’m not the only one
I just hope I’m not the only one
I just hope I’m not the only one
 

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About typetersaz

Retired in Northeast Arizona (Show Low)
Gallery | This entry was posted in Thoughts on Paper.... Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Is it just me?

  1. Rich says:

    Ty I hear ya my friend. I am confused and discouraged by the manner of discourse we’ve adopted as acceptable in this country. In my opinion, this communications, humanity, and civility “Armageddon” that we’re experiencing now, seems to have been engendered when we adopted the notion of “extreme” as good behavior and normal mode of whatever we do. We have extreme sports; extreme politics; extreme eating; extreme loving; extreme everything. What this all translates to is Hubris. Since the Greek tragedians, Hubris has been known to bring down the person, the family, the nation. Sometime (could be soon, I pray not…) there will come a tipping point where incivility towards our brother homo sapiens will become the paradigm of behavior in our nation. Somehow, all of us need to bury our baser instincts and realize that people need to respect each other and learn how unconditionally help each other. We don’t know our brothers’ stories and why they are in need. We just need to help them. I prefer to err on the side of humanity and help those in need (whether they actually need it or not) because those who cheat are really in need of something more than my pittance of money or whatever I may contribute can remedy., and maybe our humanity towards them might just break the cycle and bring them back to the human family. If not, we all lose to some extent.
    One question sadly occurs to me often these days : Would we again fight for what we have now?…

    • typetersaz says:

      Thank for reading my printed word, reflecting and then sharing you own. Powerful. Ty sends…

      “When you really know somebody you can’t hate them. Or maybe it’s just that you can’t really know them until you stop hating them.”
      ― Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead

  2. typetersaz says:

    Brilliant. Thanks for both reading and replying as it shows, it isn’t just me. Ty

  3. Bill Brown says:

    Regrettably Ty, we have become a nation of what can you do for me. Everyone has their hand out and no one wants to help. We have brought this on ourselves as a nation by trying to make sure no one gets their feelings hurt and ” don’t spank your child or they will grow up dysfunctional.” We have taught our children that they deserve everything they want without having to do anything for it. We now have to live with the consequences of not holding our politicians responsible for their actions and voting out those who are fiscally irresponsible. Hopefully we can right the ship and bring responsibility and decency back into our homes and country. Yes we all make mistakes. The difference in now and when we were growing up is we took responsibility for what we did and accepted our punishment. We learned from our mistakes and grew from them. Let’s hope we can again become that nation we were so proud of and willing to serve. The is hope for our future but we will have to work to get there. As for the race issue, I have never understood it. We are all just one shade of brown or another. We are all one, human. People need to finally get over their prejudices and enter the real world. Love your brother and sister for someday they may the one taking care of you. Thanks for your insights. You have always been one of the brightest and most articulate individuals I have ever known. I am a better man for the thing I have learned from you.

    • typetersaz says:

      “If I tell you I am upset about everything that’s going on around me, you will probably ask

      me why, half listening, half wandering away in your own train of thoughts…

      If I tell you I am happy, you will probably not bother to know why, congratulating me and

      forgetting..

      I should rather tell you I am fine, satisfied, you will probably tell me your own issues then,

      for which I will be all ears”
      ― Sanhita Baruah

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