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Fat, Ignorant, Easily Distracted

.......and guess who we elected?

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, July 04, 2007.

It’s the Fourth of July, the day that all the flags fly and parades materialize along with cookouts and parties and, of course, fireworks in the evening sky. It’s a blast for kids and many adults, without question, and it would take a real wet blanket to settle in over the peaceful city I call my home today. But we all know, and not just here in Boulder, the nation, on its 231st birthday, is in trouble. If the love of God is to be judged by a nation’s good fortune and general health, long life, and experiences available, God clearly loves the United States. Our troubles are not mostly the fault of the conservatives nor the liberals nor the religious nuts nor the atheists, like myself. But if you’re a believer, you may be asking yourself whether the divine paternal affections are wavering, and if it’s justified, and what caused it. The mind wanders.

Well, America is fat. Isn't gluttony a sin? Not just around the stomach, either. Fat has elbowed its way into the few remaining spaces allowed by calcium in the skull. We’ve lost the ability to think well, to observe, to conclude. We’re unable to follow evidence trails as obvious as sequential bread loaves back to bakeries.

For example, on July 4th, the obese United States now primarily celebrates gluttony in a series of who can eat the most contests. A sore jaw in a competitive eater is more or less treated in the media as a strained back is in a linebacker. A competitive eater, a professional gourmand, a disgusting pig has almost become an object of veneration among the pear shaped, and this because of our unaware addictions to sugar, inertia, and virtual lives.

On July 4th we demonstrate patriotism the only way most citizens can: by waving a flag. It’s unfortunate that most of those who do cannot name the fifty states for which the stars stand, or locate them on a map. That isn’t surprising, given that most Americans cannot find the United States on a map, much less locate Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, or Latin America, where the U.S. is fighting our third simultaneous war, the Drug War, with actual soldiers, much equipment, and a whole lot of money.

We ought to probably surrender in the Drug War, and if people want to OD on drugs, the only Christian thing to do is conclude they are badly wanted in heaven. Rather than spend money taxed from unwilling citizens to preclude the same citizens from buying drugs they willingly want – whether from Peru or a Canadian pharmacy – all of it could be saved at the expense of drug lords, both legal and not. Nations that essentially are sane about drug use, say Holland, don’t seem to have acquired any problems beyond the pale or unexpected. Rather less, actually. And by the way? Holland is now the tallest nation per capita on earth, for hundreds of years considered a ringing sign of a nation’s health.

And while I am not convinced that the Iraq War was totally unjustified, the way Bush waged it made it so, since it denied us any conceivable benefit from it and put us in position to actually lose it. There is no excuse for this, since we have followed the same path to disaster we did in Vietnam, biting off more than we were willing, not able, to chew, and this after three decades of rumination of that fiasco. We cannot continue to use our military like this, asking men and women to die for reasons that few can explain, to hold points for which the government did not prepare or expect, to maintain to save face for that government, and to accept the blame when there is no other scapegoat.

This past week saw George Bush remove any last obstacle to his visualization as the worst president in our history by reducing Scooter Libby’s sentence. All polls show that it isn’t just the political activations like this he’s backed, or the policies espoused, that have led to his pathetic approval ratings, but the simple fact that his administration cannot do anything to national benefit, and is incompetent for the job. At the same time, the opposition seems willing to have his mere humiliation as their Job One, and just mop up his squitterings, and apply steel-belted Attends around this administration.

We’re fat, ignorant, and easily distracted. Politicians have learned they are safe if they grant us permission to be so, and excuse it, and blame someone other than we voters, preferably someone foreign. That we elected and tolerated someone so totally and dangerously unqualified should come as no shock.

Enjoy the fireworks.