Sunday, April 11, 2010


I am proud to be an American. But ... I wonder how we got to this sad point in history. We have minimal access to modern train travel, and air travel is a bleak experience. Try waiting in endless lines, sitting in miserable seats, and being charged extra for everything you need from luggage to food. And after you've paid for all these extras, the experience is still unpleasant. And no one complains. Why? The TSA might drag you away.

Our schools depend on our belief in a brighter, smarter America. But in Florida a new bill has been created to pay teachers by results and not pay them for an advanced education. But if teachers are not encouraged to seek a higher education, why should our students go for an advanced degree? And what should teachers do when students don't do homework, don't show up for class, or don't make any attempt to do the work? Should we punish the parents? Because we can't punish the students. And why are our schools so unimportant? We have the money for new stadiums, so why not teachers?

We have so many malls. Store after store. Yet we dress like slobs. We spend millions at the mall and don't seem to care how we look. We fly, work, and eat in restaurants dressed as if we never saw a store. Odd, huh?

We want our children to read, but we as a country don't read much. We prefer TV. And most of our news shows don't focus on promoting American education, American industry, or the terrible shape of our roads and bridges. Our news shows often focus on the latest winner on AMERICAN IDOL.

In fact we seem to be obsessed with three things in America. First and foremost is being thin, though we're getting fatter. Being thin matters more than who we are as human beings. Next comes the shopping mall and then reality TV.

Television promotes us into believing that being cool matters the most. Have unrealistic breast implants, have your teeth veneered, look starved, and drive the right car, and you've got it made.

And you definitely need a presence on FACEBOOK. So how come so many people are lonely if they have so many internet friends?

We have political leaders who talk about human values and religion. But a lot of the time it's just hot air. It's a smoke screen which covers up the fact that America needs to catch up with Europe and Asia in many areas such as health care and train travel. It's a smoke screen that doesn't tell you that the reason you can buy so many cheap goods in the stores here is because it's all made somewhere else. It's a smoke screen that doesn't warn you that your job may disappear while you're focused on the winner of THE BACHELOR.

And while we're at it, we do need to take control of our health care. We are about 79th in the world. This is fine if you never get sick. But allowing Wall Street to dictate how an insurance company will pay out claims, is just plain nuts. Wall Street is not about you. It's about the few at the top who manage to skim off the profits and disappear into their posh estates in Fairfield County.

There's a lot to be proud of here. But we need to pay attention to more than the latest diet.

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