“Welcome aboard!” is written on the front door of every MTA bus in Los Angeles. Most have no idea that is so nor any interest in taking the invitation to “go public” anytime soon. We have, as a nation, squandered our fortune and future on satisfying ego’s need to cannibalize the planet for our private comfort and luxury by insisting on basing our life around the automobile. Time to put it in the garage and get on board!
President Obama hit the mark perfectly in his speech to the Human Rights Campaign Fund gathering last night. And so did all those who press him for more and faster action. On this, National Coming Out Day, cleverly set on my own birth date, there is much to be done to bring legal equality to gay and lesbian Americans. The Matthew Sheppard Hate Crimes law is one step forward. But as much as legal equality must be pursued with vigor there are still persistent pockets of hatred and ignorance that need the clarity of Obama’s call for tolerance and equality.
During the course of the last three decades a small group of people have changed laws, tweaked those left unchanged, emasculated attempts at regulating their actions, created falsely based wars and a fictional economy. In the process they transferred an unprecedented share of wealth from 95% of us to the top 5%, themselves. A false economy was created in which people were paid incredible sums for producing nothing more than imaginary money. Then the house of cards started a full on collapse and that 95% was forced at gunpoint to go in debt to bail the 5% out. It is time for reparations.
The case trying the issue the power of government to limit corporate campaign spending for “Hillary: the movie” warns us that the High (don’t I wish) Court may overturn a century of legislation regarding these laws. If these laws are declared unconstitutional, the already overwhelming advantage of big money over politics will likely become a monopoly resulting in virtually no voter control of government.
Beginning early in the last century, Congress and many states realized that unlimited campaign spending by corporations would distort the election process because they are able to quickly gather funds and spend them to sway public opinion.
Individual voters, and even groups of voters cannot match this ability and the result is to skew elections toward what corporations want.
We have many things to be concerned about, we fear what might happen next, we worry in a generalized, somewhat unfocused way. From job insecurity which now insists itself into many homes to wave after wave of foreclosures, bankruptcies and credit defaults, to concrns about health, safety and well being, we have a lot on our plates.
We know most of us don’t live in a healthy manner, we don’t eat right, we don’t exercise enough, we are abusers of too many drugs, predominantly prescription, we don’t sleep enough and we overwork ourselves. We consume more than we produce. We are afraid of terrorists, that the climate is going to do us in and the financial sector is barely an inch above water.
The overwhelming majority of Americans believe in God, the capitalized version; God Almighty, Jehova, Yahwey, Allah, or any variation on the Abrahamic names for the ultimate power. There are divisions about exactly what God is and how God feels about and is inclined in favor or against a long list of activities and actions. These divisions are in urgent need of reconciliaition in order to deal with the era of global interdependency. Is the God of all these diverse interpretations big enough to deal with it?