Why, exactly, did all our service men and women die?
To preserve our way of life, our freedoms, so the usual
cant goes. But:
(1) ARE we "free"? Not quite to the level we enjoyed
before 911; witness the Patriot Act and the cavalier
disregard of the FISA court's stipulations. Librarians
must "give up" titles of checked-out books, ditto sellers
their lists of books bought by credit cards or online. Then
there's the Rapiscan (Rapescan) intrusion at our major
airports, which Mr. Chertoff promoted WHILE employed as Bush
II's Homeland honcho. You can recall other outrages, I'm sure.
(2) Our "Way of Life"? --What's that, exactly? A rush to the
bottom which has continued for decades, exploited/promoted
by canny NYC Madison Ave. ad types, always and everywhere
inserting "you" and "yours", as if each of us is the only
important thing on the planet, instead of the "greatest good
for the greatest number". (That U.S. number is now way TOO big,
some 309 millions worth, thanks to "too much fun".)
(3) What about willful, dangerous denial of all inconvenient
(a) Nah, nuclear reactors aren't dangerous, the triple tragedy
in Japan can't happen here, OUR technology is better than theirs.
(HEY, Theirs ARE OURS, we sold the design specs to them.
GE Mark Is are there AND here.)
(b) Our Exceptionalism is ruining our relationships worldwide, as
many in the other 199 nations simply know better. We DO have
"healthy" nuclear weapons, more than anywhere else; "MAD"
is dead. We also boast the largest agribusiness combines on Earth,
but brutality to animals by factory farm workers has been
documented via video. We also pollute more than most,
due to our NOT-retrofitted factories, utilities, car engines.
Other occurrences abound, but best to limit the verbiage.
On Memorial Day I mourn and laud those who put others before
themselves, our brave service men and women. But there's a lot
of re-examination and personal revamping to be done before we'll
be worthy of them and their noble, ultimate sacrifice.