I feel so disenchanted with the direction the USA is going in. It scares me because we’re not that far away and everything the States does impacts us. Every decision we want to make as an independent country is influenced by what the US does or doesn’t like.
I’ve been watching a lot of Jesse Ventura interviews on Youtube. This man is incredibly smart and he’s never like a deer in headlights when he’s asked anything. He’s upfront, honest and to-the-point. I got hooked on him after watching him wipe the floor with Elizabeth Hasselbeck on the View, and again when a FOX news host left the set after Jesse was simply trying to make the point that Americans have every right to question their government. It was maddening to watch because the host kept trying to put arguments in Jesse’s mouth and Jesse kept repeating, “No, I’m not saying that. But why can’t I ask questions?” Simple, right? I mean, Americans have the right to free speech and the right to assembly, but everything I’ve seen in the last couple years clearly shows that the US government is trying to silence those who exercise those very rights and they don’t care who notices the blatant hyprocrisy of that.
Piers Morgan made a great point when he said that the government won’t hesitate to vehemently defend their precious second amendment, but the passionate defense of any other amendment seems to be here nor there. What if you publicly express your thoughts on the government’s actions? Can they now call you a traitor instead of a citizen exercising your rights? Or in Ed Snowden’s case, the American government was trying to block him from holding a press conference in Moscow and AP’s Matt Lee was floored at the idea that the government would ever suggest he doesn’t have that right, and railed that idiot Washington spokesperson Jen Psaki for ever trying to suggest that he shouldn’t have been allowed to do so. She was clearly at a loss for words because she’d JUST demonstrated in plain view that both she and the government were in favour of denying an American citizen’s rights simply because they didn’t like what he was saying. No explanation necessary, Jen. No justification on your part needed, because the fact remains that you publicly announced that the USA was discontented with Russia for simply giving Snowden a platform to exercise his American rights. You spoke on behalf of your colleagues in Washington, which is good enough for everyone watching. It’s fair to assume that this is the general opinion of those who you’re representing and speaking for. What is there to be disappointed over? He has rights, and he exercised them. He hasn’t lost his rights, especially since he’s never been to trial or convicted of anything. I believe Matt Lee even asked Jen, “He is still an American citizen, right?”
I guess I’m more dumbfounded by the blatant disregard for human rights… the lack of denial over terrible things that they’re doing. There isn’t a person on this planet outside of the USA who would ever say that America’s role in the international world isn’t being abused and isn’t severely unappreciated. I keep going back in my mind to the argument between Rosie O’Donnell and Elizabeth Hasselbeck, where Rosie shouted at Elizabeth with a bright red face that there were no terrorists in Iraq after Elizabeth made a reference to “our enemies in Iraq.” If Americans can see the flaws in the government’s justification for starting an unnecessary war, that doesn’t make them traitors. That makes them good citizens. Being a blind follower of anything the government does simply because you’re supposed to support your president doesn’t make you a martyr, it makes you a moron. And if your own citizens can call you out on it and want change from within, imagine what the rest of the world has to say about it. There’s no country you can go to that welcomes Americans with open arms. Does this not register with Congress? Everyone hates the USA because of the disasters they’ve caused all over the world in the last 60 years… Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, The Cold War, meddling with Palestine… to name a few. Hasselbeck hesitated when Rosie asked her if she thought that Rosie considered the troops to be terrorists. I don’t necessarily think Rosie handled the argument perfectly, but Elizabeth still hesitated to answer… and it’s scary that there are people out there who think that because you question your government (which is what citizens are supposed to do), that you’re somehow less of an American than they are. I don’t see Elizabeth enlisting in the armed forces or leaving the cushy comforts of American life to walk a mile in the shoes of people far more average than she, but she’s aligning herself with those on the front lines, as if she has ANYTHING in common with them. Oh Elizabeth, you’re such a friend to the soldiers, encouraging wars they don’t even support anymore. I’m sure they appreciate your tacit compliance with what’s been fruitless endeavours overseas that yielded almost no results in the last 11 years, while innocent men and women lost their lives and limbs for a pointless battle that put your country in trillions of dollars in debt. If these were the wise decisions of the political party you support, then their brains are worth as much as your country’s amount owing.
People like Julian Assange, Ed Snowden, Bradley Manning, Rosie O’Donnell, Jesse Ventura, Bill Maher, etc., are necessary because they bring attention to the shitty things the American government is doing. Governments will never be totally honest; there is no such thing. But being under the microscope and being caught doing dirty things that you think will never see the light of day, like shooting innocent and defenseless Iraqi civilians, or torturing suspected “terrorists”, or spying on the everyday communications of everyone in your country and beyond… is probably a good thing. I think if Americans were overseas murdering my relatives for no apparent reason, I’d like to know about it… especially when an election rolls around. And I’d most certainly be on the internet and in the streets protesting and I’d probably be a terrorist suspect just for doing that… which is the danger in the NSA pulling these tricks on regular civilians in the first place. This is what happened in China in 1976 during the cultural revolution, and in Iran in the 80s and 90s, and it’s what’s currently happening in North Korea. Has it ever been a good thing for the average citizen when their country using secret intelligence to control its people? As history has shown us, the power it yields gets carried away pretty quickly and goes way overboard. Millions of people have lost their lives because of it, for no good reason.
In fact, I just read on CNN today (the truthiest of all truths – sounds like a Colbert expression) that the NSA has just revealed that some of its agents have already been abusing their surveillance powers by spying on the activities of people they know… like intercepting their girlfriend’s emails and collecting their phone calls. The NSA isn’t going to reveal every wrongdoing in the agency; they’re using this as a demonstration to the American public that they’re supposedly auditing the activity of their agents and punishing those (who are un-named in the article, of course) who misuse the surveillance program. So now we’ll never know who was doing it, and the people who were wrongly affected by this will never have the option of filing a lawsuit for damages. So, sounds to me like the NSA isn’t taking full accountability, if they’re even being honest about the extent of it (we know the answer already).
So, if I was American I would want to know if my tax dollars are funding some secret Big Brother project that I don’t agree with so that I have the option of voting for you or not… because clearly, this is hurting Americans.
On the topic of a decrepit USA, I also read that the federal government has offered Detroit $300 million, being very careful to make sure it’s not referred to as a bailout. What I find interesting is that $30 million is going to the fire department, while only $3 million is going to the police. This city has the WORST crime ratings in the country – is this not where police are needed more than anywhere? The police won’t even patrol most of the city. Of $300 million, cops are only getting $3 million? Public transit, though, is getting a very generous $140 million. I can imagine that it needs improvement, but what’s more important? New buses, or safety? They’re STILL planning to help debt reduction by cutting pensions, even though the debt is majorly the fault of corrupt municipal employees who stole from the city in the first place. Now the pensioners have to pay for that? Where are the criminal lawsuits against those in charge?
I know Detroit needs help. It really saddens me. I was just there in June and I could see it. It’s not surprising that they filed for bankruptcy. But I feel sorry for those poor citizens who have to live there because they have no other way out, and even worse for the pensioners who are going to lose everything they were promised from dedicating 30 or so years to the city. Retired, elderly people… these are the real victims of Detroit, as well as the tragically impoverished people. Where’s their relief?
America the Great.