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To summarize: This nation is in a whole lot of trouble



Published: Sat, April 23, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



EDITOR:

Let's see if I'm able to summarize today's cultural and political climate.

Our government spends billions of taxpayer dollars every month to wage an unpopular war and secretly contemplates pre-emptive strikes on other "rogue" nations while it surreptitiously proposes selling supersonic jets capable of delivering nuclear bombs to an unstable regime that has a nuclear rivalry with its 10th-world neighbor to the south. Meanwhile, our fearless leader holds revival meetings on the White House lawn with an assembly of America's religious wackos and asks the nation to join with them as they "pray for peace."

"Protection" clauses enable licensed pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control pills because of their "religious convictions" (and still manage to hold on to their jobs, no less) and FDA directors work overtime to insure that America's women jump through more hoops to buy a "morning after" pill. America's Taliban has announced that its next battle will be to insure that all sperm, ovum, zygotes and microscopically split cells are given the same "protections" as a post natal infant. All of this, of course, occurs while millions of unwanted children are born each year into a world of shrinking economic and natural resources, parents ill-equipped to properly direct even their own lives, and a society that fervently believes that God will miraculously provide a decent life for all His good children if they just pray really hard.

The notion of "intelligent design" has actually become a fashionably accepted part of our children's science curriculum in many parts of the country because parents and educators are no longer able to tell the difference between the rigors of scientific inquiry and the fables and fairy tales of an ancient text. Darwin and "Holy Scripture" now vie for an equal playing field in the world of science education in our public schools.

Millions of Americans live without adequate health care because they're too preoccupied with the death of a brain dead-woman, the death, dying and replacement rituals of a member of a shrinking religious cult, the ridiculous travails of pop music and sports icons, the size of waves that smack into a luxury cruise ships in the Bermuda Triangle and the nuances of the latest on-site video poker tournament, to insist that their representatives do the work that they were elected to do -- help create a better life for the American people.

Savings and discretionary incomes of average Americans plummet daily because they are expected to pay more for just about everything. Meanwhile, the top strata of our society gets heftier tax breaks, the bottom strata conducts a loosing struggle for bare-bone increases in the minimum wage and huge segments of the middle strata disappear monthly as their jobs pack up and head for Mexico and China. Meanwhile Wal-Mart opens yet another supercenter to sell all of the junk produced there to a hungry, cash-strapped, dumbed-down audience (while it pays its employees a paltry sum to do so and asks that they seek public assistance if they need health care). All the while, its board of directors tallies up another $15 billion in yearly profits for its shareholders.

One of our major political parties has been hijacked by a group of religious zealots and extremists while the other party wallows in its own self-pity and non-direction, concerned with little else other than the survival of its personal retirement plans.

AL BLAZO

Youngstown




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