Silver Threads - 2/19/2006
More Age Discrimination

Old and Tired

category_bug_politics.gif It is not uncommon for some elders to say, from time-to-time, that they are tired. They’ve worked hard for decades, scrambled to pay the bills, raised their kids, overcome setbacks and now, having reached a ripe old age, want to kick back and relax. They’ve earned a rest, they say, and so they have.

I’m tired too - exhausted, in fact - but not (yet, anyway) for the same reasons.

I’m tired of a federal government that at every opportunity has usurped the power granted in the Constitution to Congress, the Judiciary, the states and the people. I'm tired of watching the administration, day by day and in each new revelation of secret fiat, remake the United States into a tyranny. I am tired of being told by some friends and acquaintances to lighten up, that I exaggerate. Are these - individually and collectively - exaggerations?

The president claims anything he does is lawful and so, it appears, the Constitution is dead.

Hundreds of thousands of private communications have been intercepted by the government in the name of national security. If, when I write a note to my friend in Israel, I might happen to say that Arab Muslims have a point about this or that, will our correspondence then be flagged and held against us at some future time?

Hundreds of people are held in offshore prisons for years without access to family, legal counsel or trial date.

Torture is now an acceptable means of prisoner control while elected officials spin lofty tales of exporting the kind of democracy that they thwart at home.

Congress expects me to respect the results of their hearings, but selectively exempts corporate executives and high government officials from testifying under oath.

The president promotes turning over retirement benefits and health coverage to market forces enriching the wealthy elite while increasing costs to the poor and middle class who have no way to pay.

The president tells us the economy is solid and growing, but the middle class is shrinking, wages lag behind inflation and personal savings has moved into the negative.

Our borders are a sieve, only four percent of imports are subject to security checks and now the government has sold the responsibility for port security to the United Arab Emirates, and we are told it’s a done deal, cannot be changed.

All checks and balances, assigned by the Constitution to Congress, have been moved to the executive branch with hardly a peep from Congress.

Congress is openly entertaining the idea of turning over control of the internet to the mega-communications companies who would, in turn, then control where each of us can go online.

Giant technology companies, with the consent of the government, are engaged in censoring access to the internet in other countries and as a direct result of Yahoo!'s cooperation, three Chinese dissidents have been jailed.

Millions of dollars worth of bought-and-paid-for mobile homes are sinking into the muck, unused on the Gulf coast while thousands of victims of the worst natural disaster in the history of United States continue to go homeless.

Laws protecting whistleblowers within the government have been suspended (by presidential fiat?), and those who speak out are savaged, silenced, fired and window-seated when they try to tell the public how our country has been ravaged by the greed of the corporate/government alliance.

In the name of phony war against a country that had no involvement in 9/11, the president has taken a tidy budget surplus left by the previous administration and turned it into a deficit that cannot be repaid in decades no matter how much the economy may grow. But no one is an iota more safe and the United States has been made a pariah in the eyes of the world.

Yet all of the above matters not a whit if our president cannot be convinced that global warming is not, as every reputable scientist on earth has shown us, junk science.

I haven’t begun to enumerate the enormity of the takeover of our country by the wealthy elite in business and government who make these decisions. Every public utterance from the president and his underlings is meant to obscure, obfuscate and keep hidden the crimes against the Constitution and the people of the United States that are going on in secret.

They have been able to do all this because they believed from the get-go that the citizenry is too disinterested in the workings of government to pay attention. And they are correct. As dangerous and craven as these people are, we are at fault for our complacency. For not speaking up. For not demanding, in numbers that cannot be ignored, that our government get that smirk off its face and operate by the rule of law - of, by and for the people.

For 250 years, the U.S. has experimented with democracy. It’s not perfect, but it so inspired the world that there are now successful democracies in at least 75 other countries. If we don’t do something now, it won’t be long before we wake up and find we are no longer one of them.

Just when strength is needed more than ever, I am so tired. Perhaps that was their plan all along.

Comments

Yes Ronni, it is exhausting. It can wear us down. But up we must get, time after time (after a compassionate rest of course) and stand tall and strong ... creating pockets of light is hard and challenging work! Even your exhaustion shines as a reminding light for us all!

The Constitution will outlive the President. We have to protect our rifhts and not depend on someone else to do it.

Amen.

Amen!
We can start to change things come November....If we can come together.

so here's what we learned from the late Maggie Kuhn, founder of Gray Panthers. every meeting needed to end with an ACTION. sometimes it seems a little inauthentic (are we trying too hard?).

then, we do it and we sense ourselves as a presence in the democracy. a long way around to saying: we cannot wait for the next election; what will we do this week?

ronni raises the issues, gives us resources. off the soapbox for the moment. -naomi

It's a disillusioning time where greed and fear are twins who rule everything. The ones seeking to control pull out one or the other card each time they want to consolidate a new power. It's hard to even recognize the America that would let this happen. I have said all along, you cannot blame just the president and his administration (if we are getting fair elections which some question) but rather also the American people for what has happened and continues to happen. It's amazing to me to see this. It's like Americans have been brainwashed-- a certain segment anyway. I talk to conservatives but today it's been an exercise in frustration to try to communicate anything. It's like we live in two different worlds and what we see is not the same. And what's worse is I'm getting to a point, in my irritation, where I don't even want such people as friends which divides us even further from debating different viewpoints. :(

Somebody suggested you exaggerated, Ronni? I think not. Everything you said has covered it all. But I'm also tired....tired of the people that Rain has referred to above. Like the boy in the fairy tale, holding his finger in that dike....due to fatigue, we still can't just let go.

Tired, yes... but not too tired to get up and VOTE!

Thanks for the inspiration, Ronni

Our country is experiencing a psychotic political period. We have to blame both sides of the political spectrum and ourselves !

Ah, Ronni, it is exhausting and there is no end to it on the horizon.
I get so outraged so often about so many things being done to us or to others in our name lately that I haven't been able to pick one to write about... but I think it is important that we do speak out and that we continue to speak out.
You're my hero!

If the poor voted in the same proportion as do the rich, America would look a lot different. Unfortunately, they do not, which has led me beyond being just tired of our present situation to being increasingly pessimistic about changing it any time soon.

I love America.

That being said, I also hate America, at least I hate what it has allowed itself to become - a haven for the rich and powerful and a mockery of a Constitution that held so much promise.

It is fair to note that there is not really one ounce of difference between a wealthy and powerful Republican versus his counterpart in the Democratic party. They are equally corrupt, and equally as powerful.

What to do?

Get rich?

I have grandchildren who will have to fight much bigger and scarier battles in their lifetimes - global warming, pollution and overpopulation.

I will continue to vote, take advantage of what freedom and rights I have remaining; in truth, I have no hope left in my heart to expect lasting and curative change.

The glass is half empty these days for me.

Yep, this is me. I'm old, can't do anything, don't want to do anything but get off this earth and cease to be a human. Only then will the earth have a chance and maybe me, out there somewhere cold, dark and airless will live in a dream of my life on earth when I was 25 years old. It is burned into my soul and even death nor time nor space can steal it away from me.

Mindboggling, is the word that comes to mind when I read the litany of items listed in your blog, Ronni. I, too, share your concerns.

All I can say is, that we must never give up hope, we must keep making our views known in every avenue available to us until our last breath.

This is our obligation and responsibility to ourselves, to those who founded this country, to those who will come after us, most importantly to retain our freedom and our way of life.

Men and women have given their lives, body parts, mental stability for this cause. We owe them. We give little in return by comparison. At the very least, we must continue voting ... especially if the outcome is not what we would want.

I'm so incredibly tired, too, Ronni --so tired of dealing with a government that doesn't care and people who have a "let them eat cake" attitude. I threaten to give up but I'm too much of a believer in what this country can be to quit so I'll soldier on as well as I can. However, when the president refers to the Constitution as "that damn piece of paper", I don't have much hope.

I thought that I had covered virtually all the ills of the Bush Administration in my recent blog posting, but you've provided so many new entries that I'll have to produce a new catalog. It's imperative that the Democrats get control of the Congress in this year's election so that we can impeach the worst President in U.S. history. But the Democratic Party is being led by Congressional wimps. If Howard Dean were only less abrasive and had Bush's mushy charm, we might get somewhere.

Dear Ronni,

I was reassured in seeing that finaly, through your comments, a voice is raising up and speaking up against all this chaos.
how refreshing!

I'm 22 and I live in Paris, If you think you're tired, then what do you think of the thousands of people, including myself, who left America, as a sign of protest to corporate-infected America? (I used to live in CA).

I love the American people, and I hope they will speak up, as you do, for the America we all used to love and respect.

I once heard an American in Europe say: "It's a sad day being american today", after the Brown scandal with Hurrican Katrina. the list of tireing facts could go on forever...

I suggest you impeach the entire government! do a state-wide rally.
Please america, don't be brainwashed, as another suggested! get in the streets! and protest!


signed,

A young, untired, student.

P.S:

(also:Get rid of GMOs,you can do it, just like us Europeans!: respect of democracy! if you don't want something, then vote against it...) you guys can make a difference! :)

Any crabby old ladies out there like to talk to a nicely depressed man who has no other intent other than talk.

So, now we have a new administration, largely elected by the poor who never voted before, and those who, as you do, wished for change.

Yet the same old crap is still occurring, Deficits increase multifold, and our Constitution is being trampled at am alarming and increasing rate.

Our future is being destroyed.

NEITHER of the parties is trustworthy.

And you can't blame this on Bush.

When does the new Revolution start, and how can it succeed in this time of absolute disregard of the well-being of our country by those elected to serve?

I remain, old and tired, but not deceived by the rhetoric of "hope and change".

Wayne

November can bring out with the so called "change" and back in with common sense. VOTE

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