Good morning everyone,
I trust and hope everyone had a fine time ringing in the New Year this past weekend. Personally, I went out to a local lounge in Chicago with one of my buddies, and all in attendance appeared to have a great time! So here we are; back to reality. A decade into the 21st century has been recorded into history. All is well in the world. Birds are chirping. Dogs are chasing their tails, and cats still love to play with yarn. So nice, so bliss. Yes, of course I’m being sarcastic, because we all know things aren’t A-okay within vast parts of the animal kingdom. Leaving the animals aside, we the people have our own set of problems to attend to.
Entering the last decade, no one outside the inner circles of intelligence would ever have imagined we’d be off to such a lumpy start. In 2000, we suffered through one of the most trivial Presidential elections in modern time, which gave us a George W. Bush legacy that still reaps havoc to this very day. Of course, no one can, nor is apparently allowed to forget the tragic, yet highly trivialized terrorist attacks of 9/11/01. Those horrific events made a bad start to the decade a far worse nightmare than one would imagine. These unconventional attacks gave birth to ‘The Patriot Act’, which has virtually eradicated nearly every civil liberty we had left within our grasp. Invading both Iraq and Afghanistan has been an utter disaster of mass proportions. For some strange obscure reason, our major media outlets have been instructed to label residents within those regions “insurgents.” It’s absurd, because in reality, most, if not all of whom are identified as insurgents, are simply citizens of those countries that are fighting to protect their land from foreign invasion.(The United States armed forces/imperialism) Last time I checked, we have no civil authority over Iraq, nor Afghanistan. Apparently, the residents of the middle east are refusing to be left with a hand-picked crony of our country’s leaders, to be left in charge of them. I don’t blame them for their resistance. I’m 100% for our U.S. troops not being hurt, but to witness many of them level towns with irreversible destruction is a bit heartbreaking. They’re under orders of the U.S. President to be there, but should be pulled out immediately. I’ve yet to hear any justifiable reason for why they were deployed there to begin with. Let us not forget that last decade also brought us ‘Osama Bin Laden’, the master mind terrorist allegedly behind the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01, who has yet to be captured by American military forces. We’ve suffered natural disasters, and most recently, the BP oil spill disaster of ’10’, which was not so natural. With the 2 tragedies occurring approximately 5 years apart, several Americans have been displaced from their respective homes in the Gulf. Poor domestic, monetary, and foreign policy, accompanied by natural disasters, eventually culminated to a much larger problem; an economic recession. At one time, the recession was closely trailed by a 2nd economic depression.
Though it may not seem like it, there’s an abundance of positive elements that occurred within the last decade as well. I think the best thing to arrive out of last decade was stem cell research. In December 2010, Germany made a huge breakthrough with regard to a possible cure for HIV. We’ve fallen a bit behind in our own stem cell research, but only because it was banned for such a long time by former Pres. Bush. Recently, however, President Obama has unrestricted this scientific research. That brings me to another positive, which is we did elect our 1st black President of the United States. I’d like to keep in mind that the idea that a minority won the office of Presidency for the 1st time in history is a highly memorable event, but President Obama himself has been far beyond sub par in his performance as commander-in-chief thus far. Keeping with positive flow, one would have to include the internet’s growing influence. Sure the ‘.com’ boom/bubble was at its peak in the 90’s via e-commerce, but I must admit internet communications have evolved for the better. From internet speed, to the content itself, information is flowing. I truly love the fact that bloggers like myself, Dana Loesch, The Young Turks, a countless amount of others, and several news agencies such as RT-America, are able to reach the masses on a much larger and more effective scale. I may not agree with everything that is said or written in any of these outlets, but at least different voices from all ends of the spectrum are able to be heard world-wide from coast to coast. Couple that with the fact that last decade has also given us popular social media outlets ‘Twitter’ and most notably, ‘Facebook.’ Thanks in large part to social networking, major media outlets are occasionally pressured to cover news stories they perhaps would normally pay little to no attention to. Another huge plus is that there are larger volumes of individuals becoming more interactive with news media.
All in all, last decade was somewhat depressing. I can’t help but feel that the negative far outweighed the positive. I often think about the fact we are currently engaged in two wars right now, which have transformed into occupations. It’s hard for me to digest the reality that our former President, George W. Bush, can publicly admit he sanctioned torture, and not face any consequences. It’s a huge slap in the face of the U.S. Constitution, along with modern-day treaties we’ve signed with other countries, which outlaws such practices. American soldiers from centuries past, most of which were originally oppressed British colonists, fought hard on behalf of their families, and this nation’s sovereignty so that we may have our independence. Once we claimed victory over our oppressors, it was only then that our Founding Fathers could construct, and activate that historical document we know as The United States Constitution. Now we have President Obama agreeing to spend us further into debt by not only extending unemployment benefits for another 13 months, but he also extended tax cuts to the wealthy elite, while the middle class and essentially the poor, continue to become further oppressed by heavy taxation and big government. Am I living in the twilight zone or what?! The founding fathers fought against these very practices, which lead to the Boston Tea party. Parliament was overstepping its bounds, thus the colonist simply had enough, and took a stand against the tyranny.
Fellow citizens, 2011 is upon us, and I know it’s far past time We the People resume control of our nation. By resuming control, I’m saying we need to do a better job in educating ourselves and each other with regard to current events, economics, and above all-civil liberty! I’m not talking about the decrepit public education system or traditional class room settings. I’m not simply referring to basic college degree programs either. I’m talking about reading blogs from different perspectives. Reading reputable news papers.(Yes, some still exist) For those who have families and friends, why not venture out onto group outings to your local public libraries. Checking out books with your library card remains free. Read up on U.S. history and world history. Multicultural studies, from credible reference material, in which you may not be as familiar with, is something that would also benefit ones’ own body of knowledge. You’d be surprised at what you just may learn. For individuals in modern time to fear Muslims as a whole, is highly disturbing to me. It tells me that most of my fellow citizens don’t read anything beyond tabloids and sports pages. It also tells me that major media outlets do a great job at misinforming the vast majority with television news coverage. And finally, if you have time, please try making an attempt at attending local town hall meetings when possible. The larger the volume of attendees, the more prevalent your voices shall be. If your uninformed, you have no power. Don’t get me wrong everyone. I like to have fun and enjoy relaxing activities as much as the next guy, but when recreational activity becomes a main focal point, you’re guaranteed to see any republic fail, while it’s government becomes further oppressive to the very citizens it swears to protect. Freedom isn’t free, and when you have it, you must fight to keep it. Having the options of high levels of radiation exposure, or being intrusively frisked at an airport does not sound like liberty to me. Sounds more like a direct violation of the 4th amendment. I hope to see more people unite under the original ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in 2011. I’m wishing everyone a happy new year, that hopefully brings to you much peace, and prosperity. Cheers. 🙂
A Valente Journal,