More Observations and Lamentations on the Way We Are Now

Are you enjoying your New American Century?

You may as well enjoy it.  It is all you are getting instead of your “peace dividend.”

Justice Ginsberg has recently invoked the laws of some foreign states in justification of her Supreme Court decisions.  The Founding Fathers and subsequent generations would have found this impeachable and treasonous.  We are supposed to be governed by a Constitution approved by the people—of the United States.

The same can be said of Georgie Bush’s obeisance to a foreign government in trying to prevent a State’s execution of a Mexican murderer.

It is now commonplace for the American media to state that a criminal released on a procedural technicality is innocent, even if guilt is well-established.

People are rightly incensed at the police state methods used to “protect” the recent Republican convention in Minneapolis.  But nobody minded a few years back when the paratroopers were hitting citizens of Little Rock in their own yards with rifle-butts and U.S. marshals were detaining and brutalising nonviolent male and female students at Ole Miss. After all, they were just Southerners.  And it was in the interest of Equality.

Some people  are rightly complaining of the falseness and impiety of our war-mongering clergy of today.  There is nothing new about this either.  Have you never heard “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”?  You probably have heard it but not thought about the words.  You have probably not read the numerous sermons of 19th century Massachusetts clergymen who preached the righteous duty of exterminating their Southern fellow citizens.

Call me simple, but wouldn’t it be better if Americans spent more time and effort making things and less effort watching the putative value of pieces of paper go up and down?

Call me even simpler, but I can’t understand how people can lose wealth when the stock market goes down, when the wealth never really existed in the first place.

I suppose I do understand why people are obsessed with the stock market.  First, it is intrinsic to the American national character to believe that the stock market will always go up and never come down.  Second, it is a lot easier than working.  In another context it is called gambling.

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