Our involvement in the Middle East (after 9/11) was really about vengeance.  The American people wanted someone to pay for the thousands who died at the world trade centers.  And our president used that as an excuse to invade Iraq and have a greater presence in the Middle East and to this day we don’t know whether he outright lied or was deliberately fed faulty intelligence when he claimed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.  And it was not true.  Terrorism got worse there.  And we are still in Afghanistan–the longest war we have ever been in and we don’t hear about much but we are still there.  And you have to wonder why.  Much money is being made and no one is honest:  we are there because of the oil.  We want a greater presence in the Middle East because of the oil there.  None of the politicians want to say that openly but that is the truth.  We are there because of the oil.  Fighting terrorism is just an excuse.

If America Is So Free…

Author: siggy

If America is so free, why do we have the biggest population of prisoners in the world?  That is a good question.  A disproportionate number of prisoners are black and poor.  I guess if you have a good lawyer, you usually do not end up in jail.  Many of the prisoners are in for non-violent crimes–mostly drugs.

Another travesty is there are more mentally ill in our prisons than in hospitals.  And many are not getting proper care.  Also, corporate profits are at a sixty year high.  And their taxes are at a sixty year low.

I just read if you factor inflation in, the minimum wage would be over twenty dollars.  It is not, so where are the profits coming from?  I thought I read that in the US one in five collect food stamps.  All that is not right.  Are we really our brother’s keeper?  Our leaders have a vested interest in keeping our population poor.  Our politicians may be elected by the people but most of them do not answer to the general population.  It is big money that they answer to.

In the words of Fidel Castro’s brother (during a Sean Penn interview), the politicians in America are the ‘ruling class.’  And now the government wants to run the medical profession.  As more and more details come in, instead of the price of medical insurance going down it might double or triple for some people in 2014.  It is enough to really get discouraged with our country.  Our land of the free.

‘Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.’  I think these were words uttered by Thomas Jefferson.  A check and balance system is necessary for government.  That means a free press.  Open dissent is always important.  It forces you to consider another point of view.  Someone is always going to try to take your freedom away.  That is a fact.  That is why eternal vigilance is so important.  I never forgot the ‘Pogo’ cartoon which said ‘I have met the enemy and it is me.’  Everyone has to do their part.  Each person has a role in a democracy.  You can’t ignore your role.  One of the most important ones is your vote.  It matters.  Sometimes an election is won or lost by mere votes so never forget that.  Exercise your freedom to vote.  We have to make our politicians responsive to our needs and not let big money dictate their votes in the legislatures-state and federal.  A politician fears the wrath of the public and the last thing he/she wants to lose is your vote. And they do read the letters you send them.  ‘Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.’

I have to ask, again and again:  Are we our brother’s keeper?  You read repeatedly how state after state is slashing their budget for mental health services.  Sure, states can’t afford to continue to pay for upkeep of their mental health hospitals so many of them are closing.  The services in the communities are often not supported; even services that have proved to be cost effective like peer centers.

People will still suffer.  The jails, not hospitals, now contain the largest population of the mentally ill.  Many are in for minor offenses.  Is that right?  As if the politicians don’t know that?  This population is the most vulnerable.  ER’s are increasingly being filled with those in crisis and it is very difficult to find an appropriate place for them to go.

We will be judged by how we treat the weak and vulnerable.  I will ask the politicians, again, are you your brothers’ keeper?  It costs a lot of money to treat the mentally ill in jail.  The money could be better spent in the community.  The mentally ill do not belong in jail.

People are suffering unnecessarily.  The general public is also complicit in this situation.  There was a reason state hospitals were often in the country.  Out of sight, out of mind although it is true decades ago they were called rest homes.  There were none of the medications available and often all some of the people in crisis needed was some peace and quiet and time to regain their equilibrium.

The public and the politicians need to ask themselves are we our brothers’ keeper?  And support the services that are needed to humanely treat the mentally ill.  By all means the states need to spend their money wisely.  But acting as if the problems will vanish and expecting the jails to treat the mentally ill is not right.

It could be your loved one?  After all, one out of four have been diagnosed mentally ill in their lifetime.  And you would want proper and humane treatment for your loved ones.  Or even you?  So we have to keep asking ourselves (and the politicians) are we our brothers’ keeper?

If you do not act on your deepest beliefs, you do not have integrity. Your personality is split. Integrity comes from the Latin integer, which means one.

A person who has integrity is the same in the inside as well as he/she portrays on the outside. Too many politicians are overly concerned with appearance and not enough with character.

Too much faith is given in polls and not enough on the issues that are important to you (and the people) for the office you are running for.

No one wants to vote for a phony. Integrity matters. It still does. That has not changed. It always matters.