One Veteran's Voice

27 April 2006

America the Greedy

While channel surfing today, I was confronted with the statistic (who can ever tell how they are obtained or if they're valid) that 45% of Americans believe high gas prices to be the number one problem in America today. Iran was somewhere in the low thirties or high twenties, and Iraq was in the mid twentieth percentile.

The rising price of oil is the invisible economic hand beating us into a bloody, alternative-energy using pulp. Artificially lowering prices through rebates, subsidies, or price ceilings is only going to prolong the inevitable. That's the economic long run. In the short term, Exxon just made the fifth largest profit EVER by an American corporation, during a time of national crisis or emergency (yeah, we're in it people-- that's the clause they invoked to stop-loss me, so nobody can say that we're not in a national crisis or emergency-- I'm not sure which, but we're deep in shit, I'm sure of that). I've only studied economics a little bit, and I'm still studying for the final, but I can say with confidence that somebody's getting FUCKED here, and it's not Exxon.

I guess I should be thankful that a fifth of the country is either rich or selfless enough to care about Iraq more than the price they pay for the oil..err, democracy, we are fighting for there. Meanwhile, Rumsfeld and Condi fly in and land combat syle at Baghdad International for another top secret visit. It must make them feel good when they travel to Iraq, like their presence in the hot zone justifies all the tough talk and apologetic bullshit they spew on a daily basis ("We've probably made thousands of tactical errors"-- yeah that's right Condi, blame the military at the tactical level for the strategic blunders of your boss and colleagues). Never mind if they never make it out of the green zone. Never mind if Rummy was there back in the 80's, cheesin it up with Saddam as he sold him our old military hardware for use against Iran, which according to Americans today, is a bigger problem than Iraq. Good thinking America--stick that other fist in the tar baby. Bring on the apocalypse.

I keep coming back to the apocalypse in my thinking about American culture. Another statistic which may or may not be valid-- something like 40% of Americans believe that Jesus is coming back within the next fifty years. I'm all for tolerance and religious expression, but I just can't respect (intellectually) a man or woman who believes in fairytales, and I certainly don't want them making policy decisions. Until Americans take back the government from religious fundamentalists, we are going to continue to see the same kind of irrational policy that is being enacted. We are going to continue our Crusade for Democracy in Iraq. Global warming is still a theory, and the jury's out on evolution. Embryos from fertility procedures that would otherwise be thrown in the garbage somehow become an evil, anti-life force when used to conduct research which has the potential to save life. Abortion, even in cases of rape or incest, is EVIL. EVIL. EVIL. Homosexuals are threatening American families through their insidious desire to get married and adopt underprivileged children. Yeah, married gay people-- wow-- when they're not perusing the latest Pottery Barn catalog, they're going to be out in the streets fornicating and rioting-- don't give 'em an inch.

Meanwhile, GI Joe continues to sweat it out in Iraq. Shrapnel is not an opinion poll or an ideological concept. It will blow his face off whether he believes in it or not. Existence is day to day, death is real, and Americans don't seem to care. Not as much as they care about gas prices, anyway. Greedy bastards.

14 Other Voices:

Closet Door Dissident said...

It's sad...really really sad. Despite the high gas prices, I still see brand new minivans and guzzling SUVs driven by the rich...and not so rich. Americans are unlikely to trade in their Ford F350s, SUVs, and minivans for a hybrid, moped, or bus pass anytime soon. As for the war in Iraq...most Americans trurly don't care.

So much for the progressive country we claim to be. We aren't much more progressive than the backwards countries we make futile attempts to democratize.

4/27/2006 11:15:24 PM  
TBone said...

I agree with some of the stuff you said about religion...however I think you paint with too broad a brush. I'm a Christian, but I try not to push my agenda on others. I don't consider the history of Christ a "fairytale", and neither do most scholars. Many, many Christians aren't like the vocal asshats on the television. We believe in what we believe, and let the rest do the same.

Hope you are doing okay. Try to maintain a positive, well-balanced attitude by drinking plenty of good beer ;)

Cheers,
T

4/28/2006 05:43:25 AM  
Joe Visionary said...

This post has been removed by the author.

4/28/2006 07:08:24 AM  
Joe Visionary said...

I'm not religious at all, but I think Christ's love for his fellow man still needs to be emulated.

As for Americans worrying more for gas than the young lives being lost on missions far away, I can only direct you to my blog where I've concluded that as a military nation, this is normal.

I don't mean to sound flippant with that - it's an outsider's perspective.

4/28/2006 07:14:27 AM  
Joe Visionary said...

This post has been removed by the author.

4/28/2006 07:14:47 AM  
NetAgra said...

Greetings,

Well, I care. There's no reasoning with the irrational and any support of anything being done or proposed by our current leadership is DOA in my book. Even if they happen to have a good idea, which I doubt they'll ever have.

Rational people need to come to grips with what is going on and take back the government.
NetAgra

4/28/2006 08:07:04 AM  
One Veteran said...

Fairytale-- yeah, my roommate got mildly offended at that one too. I didn't mean to imply that belief in Christ in general is akin to believing in fairytales. What I meant was that the people who believe that Christ is literally going to descend from the heavens or are otherwise biblical literalists DO believe in irrational fairytales, and there is really no rational negotiation to be had with them. Those people are the cause of our current situation in the Middle East, and they're not all Arabs, either. As for Christians-- got no problem with the ones who actually try to emulate the founder of their religion-- but I'm definitely a pagan. Screw you Roman conquerors.

4/28/2006 11:39:21 AM  
D. said...

Good post, young man.
Well spoken.
Keep speaking.
-dannyinwisconsin

4/28/2006 01:56:37 PM  
gus said...

did they also make the first through fourth highest ever?

4/28/2006 02:28:50 PM  
The Statistics said...

Jesus was a communist insurgent. The original radical revolutionary. He is as divine as you and I, but I will always aspire to be as great. If he is a fairy tale than many of my heros are, Robin Hood and Peter Pan. This coming from an Atheist.

the heretic

5/02/2006 03:00:37 PM  
thehatecamel said...

The American people do not care about the "War on Terror". A Support Our Troops magnet on a Hummer isn't supporting the troops, it's supporting the magnet makers. It's a god damned shame that people care more about who's singing on American Idol than they do about our young men and women getting shot at and bombed. I used to believe in this country and its people. I can't say that any more.

5/03/2006 10:45:36 AM  
ThePoetryMan said...

Smack!
Damn fine post!
Your way with words sometimes lends itself to the likes of Pavorati's voice! Distinct and with purpose!

I believe your point on the second coming (fairytale) was succinct in the fact that Jesus may have been a man, but the rest is left to parable or myth or what have you. and those that attempt to Christianize the world by force are not followers of Christ's words of peace, they are amoral sycophants!

Keep up the good fight my friend!

5/03/2006 10:50:47 AM  
Puma said...

Perhaps the concept of Peak Oil is simply finally filtering through to the American public? Personally, I see direct and immediate connections between this war, you veterans, and our "high" gas prices (we ain't seen nothin' yet.)

Michael Ruppert has a speech that I posted here in full, that should be required reading for anyone interested in those connections and why our gas prices are high. The subject of Peak Oil and resource wars is only just becoming more mainstream...

Google Peak Oil, and you will come up with many worthwhile sites and discussions.
http://www.energybulletin.net is one of my favorites.

5/04/2006 02:00:51 PM  
jae said...

We (husband & I) have known about Peak Oil for almost 2 years now.
This winter we had a Solar Electric System installed in our home, and this summer we hope to have Geothermal Heating/cooling. For the last 15 years, I have driven the same car, a 4 cylander that gets about 40 miles to the gallon. So...that said, I can assure you that all Merikans are not boneheaded SUV drivers with 'Support The Troops' magnets.
I can also say that anytime I am behind a car that has one of those magnets on it, I have to fight the urge to leap out of the car at a traffic light and rip the magnet off so I can shake it in the drivers face to ask them if that is the only thing they've done to 'support the troops'.....I don't do it for the same reason I don't put anti-war signage on my car: chickenhawks and right wing nutjobs are scary people. And nasty.
As thehatecamel says, I used to believe in this country and it's people.....I am on the verge of giving it up for lost.
It's heartbreaking.

5/05/2006 08:14:08 PM  

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