Things Congress Should Be Debating Openly

Now that the insanity over the sexual habits of our president has been reduced to just the dull roar from the few remaining Nazis in Congress and the media, we must demand that Congress focus on what is truly important and immediate in this world. I don't mean misrepresented "across the board" tax cuts that only benefit the already wealthy and inflict even more damage to the poor and I don't mean any more irrelevant, moral, feel good stupidity like censorship or even more draconian and unfair drug laws and mandatory punishments. No what I mean is, should our government ever return to focus on America's citizens and the world's massive challenges, we might confront just some of the many, many substantive issues that are demanding our attention NOW!

Thirty million American children live in poverty. That's nearly a third of all the children in this entire nation. The two fastest growing industries in America are gambling and prison construction. The nation faces a debilitating drug problem and our government's only answers are the weak-minded and inane "Just Say No" silliness and throwing hundreds of billions of dollars into interdicting less than 2% of all drugs either domestically produced or imported from Third World nations. We live in a time when three out of four black American males are, in some form or other, working their way through or out of our antiquated and punishment oriented legal system. We spend more money every year to house and control each prisoner than it would cost to send that same person through a year of college. Since the beginning of this century, even the most conservative estimates are that 2% of all the executions in America were done to innocent people. We face the dilemma of a nation with 10,000 nuclear missiles, the former Soviet Union, quickly falling into chaos where these weapons will no longer be controlled by the government but by radical and nationalistic factions in the military and by organized crime. We are finishing a century in which164 million people have been killed in the violent slaughter of war and all we can seem to do is give more and more money to a military and defense establishment that has become insatiable and completely beyond the control of the American people. We face the world-wide epidemic of AIDS and our government's only responses are to condemn and exclude from the discussion all homosexuals grounded on some silly fundamental biblical basis and to refuse to allow our children to be taught the most fundamental measures that they will need to protect themselves from this horror as well as to drastically reduce the number of unwanted teenage pregnancies which condemns so many women and their children to a life of poverty. Our insane leaders try desperately to convince us that homosexuality is a "life-style choice" and can be cured through their religion, which is based only on myth and magic and miracles, while science tells us that the wiring in our brains and our individual genetic make-up determine our sexual direction. We continue to create nuclear waste that will remain lethally radioactive long past our short time here, plaguing our planet for thousands of centuries and our only answer is to bury it and pray that it doesn't begin killing us or our children before we all die and can leave the problem to a disfigured and dying population in the future. We live in a nation where our government kneels before their masters in Corporate America while refusing to even discuss the idea of national healthcare or truly fair minimum wage laws or even to pretend to support the idea of a safe workplace for our citizens. We allow chemicals that we ban in this nation to be exported and used on fruits and vegetables which are grown to be exported back to this nation. Our "leaders" have hamstrung the FDA to the point where it allows their evaluators to be employed by both the administration and the very drug company's whose products they are supposed to be investigating.. We are told to worry about the possibility that our children will see naked people in the act of sex on the Internet at the same time that our children are being murdered on the street for their clothing. Our leaders listen to and respond to the research on global warming done by the very industries that are creating it but belittle independent scientists who produce evidence of the phenomena occurring TODAY as just liberals and anti-business. Our leaders create lies that support and excuse the insanity of selling the means to produce weapons of mass destruction to any despot with the cash in hand and then, when that same despot refuses to toe our political line, crank up the propaganda machine to convince the dim witted majority among us that he is now "another Hitler" and must be stopped at all costs (all costs meaning the loss of whatever young lives from our inner cities and poverty driven sons and daughters are needed to protect Corporate America and the children of the wealthy from their own greed and stupidity). We have allowed war to become just another video game that we passively watch on TV without acknowledging the pain and death before us. We have allowed the only means of mass education, our media, to be owned by foreigners and the very wealthy who use it only to numb our minds with trash and nonsense. We worship simple athletic ability at any cost and ridicule or ignore and vastly underpay those who devote their lives and careers to the betterment of this society; the teachers and scientists and volunteers and foster parents and on and on. We passively allow our children to be brainwashed into believing that their choice of soft drinks reflect their inner selves in some positive way. Our government allows television stations to claim that airing reruns of the Jetsons fulfills their requirement for educational programming. Our leaders bestow upon the owners of our broadcast media hundreds of billions of dollars of frequency bandwidth and that same media refuses to report on the philanthropy because it is just one more fact that the average American doesn't need to bother their pathetic little manipulated brains over. We live in a time where we see no irony in forcing women and children even further into grinding poverty while happily giving hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks and concessions to mismanaged corporations who then move their factories to Third World countries where they can create even more profits by using and abusing children and women in their dangerous and unsafe facilities.

Gentle readers, this list is terribly incomplete but, quite frankly, it's beginning to bum me out very badly so I'll allow you to finish the list for yourself. As we are among the very, very few who still care more about this world and its people and are not so nationalistic as to only want what is best for America, it is our duty to act. This nation can thrive and grow and follow a moral, decent path at the same time (not Jerry Falwell's or Newt Gingrich's or any other insane fundamentalist's warped idea of moral or decent but humanity's idea of those concepts). I know how depressing it can be to vote and then to watch even your candidate immediately ignore you and bend over to kiss the hem of Corporate America's filthy rags. I know that the idea of even trying to intelligently discuss the problems we face can be fraught with horrors when confronted with biblical hypocrisy and conservative bile. Believe me, I have had more conservative verbal feces tossed my way than I care to speak of but, if that's the worst they can do (and it usually is) then we must continue in hopes of reaching some of those minds which have yet to be welded closed by self-interest and greed and religious dogma. It is difficult but, I assure you, it is not impossible.

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Copyright 4/19/99