A Few Further Thoughts

Jan. 30th, 2014 | 05:32 am

As we get well into the twenty-first century, I catch myself
thinking back to the condition of American political, legal and
social structures of one-hundred years ago. I hardly need to
point out just how far we've come during the last century. I
think about Pete Seeger, and about the nearly ten decades he
spent on this earth. He very well could have talked with such
worthies as Upton Sinclair and other turn-of-the-previous-century
"muck rakers" as Theodore Roosevelt named those advocates for
progressive change.

Back in nineteen-thirteen, women had yet to earn the right to
vote. I would hate to have been a racial minority during that
time. I would hate to imagine what the work force would be like
without unions and other progressive entities who insure the
rights of the american wage earner. All too well less than a
century ago, gays, if they knew what was good for them, knew to
stay in the closet, because it could easily mean the difference
between life and a nasty death.

All in all, the America of one-hundred years ago, if one knows
the history of that era even slightly, was a decidedly scary
place to be. Our nation back then, if you really stop and think
about it, was a corporate fascist state. All of the progressive
change for which Seeger and so many others have striven, came at
the cost of a lot of work,time and suffering. None of it came
easy, not even the franchise of women.

My Website @ http://riverwind.shellworld.net
My Blog http://windraven13.livejournal.com/

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Pete Seeger and America Now

Jan. 30th, 2014 | 05:28 am

The Music of Pete Seeger and others so strongly resonates with me
as I look back on the first thirteen years of this century. I
remember back during the late winter of two-thousand and two,
when I realized that Bush was going to start a war with Iraq,
irespective of the fact that we were already at war with
Afghanistan. I recall feeling so deeply disgusted and downright
contemptuous of our erstwhile president, because he decided to
totally disregard all of the incoming relevant data and go to war
when it could have been avoided.

I so clearly think back then, how badly we needed a younger Pete
Seger, because we were all but rutterless, and we hadn't the
backbone to stand up to the GOP and resist their all too lethal
folly.

But where are we going from here? We're beyond the Bush era, and
yet the GOP is still alive and well, ah yes, and just as toxic
and pervasive as it ever was. Where are we going indeed? And who
will guide us there?

My Website @ http://riverwind.shellworld.net
My Blog http://windraven13.livejournal.com/

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Religion and Human Sexuality

Jan. 25th, 2012 | 02:56 pm

I wish to write a few exploratory essays for the purpose of
delving into and analyzing certain socio-cultural phenomena that
I believe are inhibiting our advancement toward a truly
enlightened, egalitarian and progressive society. After serious
consideration, I decided to begin with an exploration of religion
and sexuality. In doing so, I may come off as being a bit
Freudian, but I concur with many of his insights. Then too, as I
will try to demonstrate, sexuality and religion happen to be two
highly influential factors in human motivation.

The rise and spread of secularism in the west
notwithstanding, there are still a disturbing set of undeniable
similarities between western and Moslem religion, societal norms
and attitudes where women are concerned. These similarities are
all too readily apparent in the ideologies, politics, mores, laws
and behavior that so strongly characterize conservative American
society. Even though progressivism is slowly making inroads into
the legal, political, economic and societal milieus of America,
the fundamentalist theocratic factions are still a highly
formidable force to reckon with.

Taking a brief look at sexuality in the near east and
western cultures respectively, will provide at least a glimpse
into the attitudes, practices and beliefs that near eastern and
many western men have in common. It should also highlight some
crucial differences and hopefully accentuate just how, and the
extent to which, secularism can serve as sort of a moral and
social panacea for the darker aspects of human nature that are
evidenced through sexual norms and mores.

In ancient Hebrew culture, women who were raped were
summarily stoned to death, because rape was viewed as a form of
adultery. This was the law, and women faced extreme physical
punishment or even execution for committing a disturbingly long
list of offenses, inadvertently or otherwise. In the instance of
rape, the political and legal authorities reasoned that the woman
must have done something to provoke her rapist. Since she had
caused a man to behave wrongly, she was the party at fault, and
the man was blameless. Then too, since she had experienced carnal
intercourse with someone other than her husband, she was then
considered to be damaged goods. This was also her fault of
course. So the ancient Hebrews felt quite justified in putting
her to death.

It was and still is a man's world in far too many places on
this planet. The cement that holds together and reinforces this
misogynistic hegemony is the establishment of theocratic
governance and law. I tend to think that the ancient Hebrews were
the first to develop a rigid theocracy for the purpose of
enforcing absolutist patriarchal rule.

Their is a myth in the Hebrew, Moslem and Christian
scriptures that describes how their archetypical embodiment of
evil approached the first woman for the purpose of setting into
motion no end of mischief. This entity, Satan by name, approached
the woman, because she was both weaker and more predisposed to
his machinations. The man of course would have resisted him most
stoutly indeed, and probably administered a sound beating into
the bargain. So the first woman became guilty of original sin,
and she then compounded her iniquity by causing the first man to
join her in disobeying their god.

All three of these cultures are highly patriarchal in
nature, and they predicate their misogyny upon this particular
myth. Consequently the man is the ruler of the home, community,
church and government. In christian and Jewish culture, this
condemnatory, harsh and abusive cultural predisposition has been
ameliorated significantly by the intellectual wave of secular
thought that swept throughout western culture beginning with the
Renaissance and continuing into the present. The same however, is
far from true in Moslem culture. Moslem women are still relegated
to the status of mere chattel.

The sex trade, especially in the Moslem world, provides both
a disturbing yet enlightening topic for consideration. For
instance, according to Pakistani law, if a girl is kidnapped and
forced into a life of prostitution, that girl becomes the legal
spouse of the man who purchased her. Moreover, that man has the
legal right to treat her virtually as he wishes.

However, what about the aforementioned religious, social,
moral and yes, sexual commonalities that exist between arab and
european/ american cultures? In Europe, there is a rather wide
disparity between how women are viewed and hence treated. In some
countries, just as in America, the hegemonic or patriarchal mores
facilitate a disturbing negative determining set of factors. In
some European countries, such as France and especially Holland,
women are guaranteed a superabundance of rights and/or protection
under the law whether they are courtesans or work in the
Pornographic industry.

This genre of entertainment addresses a truly huge span of
diverse interests, some of which aught not to be prohibited.
However, a very substantial segment of pornography is indeed
harmful and exploitative, to women especially. Moreover, some
varieties of Porn, such as snuff films and other forms of human
violence are clearly objectionable and are not legal in the more
advanced societies.

When considering similarities between moslem and many
American men, one might want to consider Pornography's darker
side where depictions of women experiencing varying degrees of
pain and/or humiliation are served up to millions of men. One
might ask, what does this say about any man who enjoys such
depictions? Moreover, what might the partner have to expect from
a man with such interests?

From a sociological prospective, the different types of the
more violent and otherwise abusive forms of pornography serve to
lower the status of women to that of chattel, and otherwise
facilitate any number of misogynistic objectives. One could write
volumes upon the manner and extent to which pornography can
promote and even strengthen male hegemony. Herein lyes the chief
set of legitimate objections to this particular industry.

It would not seem reasonable to outlaw Pornography in
general, but extensive regulation might very well be in order.
Moreover, and perhaps more importantly, perchance the
psychological community might consider the efficacy of exploring
the roots of pornography and its popularity, especially the
aforementioned darker sorts.

What this issue ultimately boils down to, is which cultural
model we choose to adopt. We can stick with our misogynistic/
patriarchal approach, or we can look to the more enlightened
societies for exemplary guidance. In other words, we have one of
two choices. First, we can allow a significant faction of our
culture to cling to the primitive and brutal predispositions
which are ultimately the product of dogmatic religiosity and
humankind's darker nature. Alternatively, we can embrace the
enlightenment engendered by the duel forces of Secularism and
Progressivism.

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The Bourgeoisie Republicans Verses We Proletariate Democrats

Jan. 22nd, 2012 | 12:34 pm

Well, newt Gingrich actually pulled off what I considered
the upset by taking South Carolina from Mit Romny. However, I
really don't think that this actually portends anything all that
remarkable. Gingrich took his campaign into the gutter and
chiefly relied upon veiled calumnies directed at Romny, the
President and the media as a means of tapping into and hence
capitalizing on the rabid and dogmatic conservatism that is so
inherent in the South Carolinian culture.

Will he be able to do this in my home state of Florida? I
tend to think not. I am predicting that Romny will carry Florida
and most of the other states as well. No, the conservatives, the
Tea Party in particular, won't care over-much for the more
moderate Romny. I tend to think that Gingrich is more compatible
with the Tea Party's politics, beliefs and goals, but he isn't
nearly so electable as Romny.

Quite frankly, I tend to be diametrically apposed to all
four of the current candidates. I abhor their stance on gay
marriage, because it is an instance of bigotry that is the
product of fundamentalist reasoning. Both Gingrich and Romny are
unequivocally apposed to convicted felons having the right to
vote. What ever happened to the Christian notion of forgiveness?
In the New Testament of Christian scripture, Jesus is reported to
have expounded upon how following repentance, one's sins were
thrown away "as far as the east is from the west", if memory
serves. What ever happened to the exhortation to "go and sin no
more?"

Moreover, the republican candidates unapologetically cling
to an economic and political model that promotes a decidedly
unacceptable mode of stratification that is slanted in the favor
of a wealthy few and hence to the detriment of everyone else.
Romny admonishes we the people to not get caught up in the
politics of jealousy and just accept that some will be wealthy
whilst most others will not. This is rather a smooth ploy to
direct thoughts and feelings away from the manner in which and
the extent to which the middle and lower classes are routinely
exploited by Romny and his kind. Should Romny win the Republican
nomination and then, gods forbid, the presidential election,
America will become a nation not fit to live in. I for one do not
wish to live in a corporate fascist state.

This could very well be a highly pivotal year for the cause
of Progressivism. The republicans have had a year in which to
show their true agenda, and they still have another nine and a
half months before the American people will have the opportunity
to oust them from office. If the national electorate doesn't yet
comprehend the threat to our civil liberties and our very well-
being that the GOP constitutes, it never will. I believe that we
as a nation will go in one of two directions, either further into
reactionary and dogmatic fundamentalism, or down the path of
Progressivism. This is why I believe that the year two-thousand
and twelve could turn out to be one of the most important
intervals in American history.

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A Most Eventful Year in the Making

Jan. 21st, 2012 | 01:21 pm

Well people, this most tumultuous year of our lord 2011 has
wound down to a close. The specter of 2012 is upon us, and boy
does it look to be a highly interesting year indeed, perhaps one
of the most eventful in American history. I haven't posted much
for over a year now, primarily because I had become jaded with
the political, economic and social spectrums. I suppose the
elections of 2010 constituted the very last straw for me. After
the American electorate so royally screwed itself by kowtowing to
the Tea Party faction, I just threw up my hands and sort of
encapsulated myself on our small farm and watched from the
sidelines. Several questions come to mind as I sit writing this
missive.

#1. Have the American people learned from their folly? In
other words, do they now see the Republicans as they truly are?
Do they recognize and/or have a better understanding of the
Republican agenda? If so, then the elections of 2012 have the
potential to become extremely pivotal in our history. We will
either maintain our present and not very healthy course, or we
will turn our proverbial prow in a new and more positive
direction.

There are many who do not believe that President Obama has
done all that was in his power to bring about reform on multiple
levels. They very well could be right, but I tend to think that
our President didn't quite realize the magnitude and scope of the
corruption that is so pandemic in Washington. Then too, there is
a misguided and potentially pernicious propensity on the part of
the American constituency to blame the president for the problems
we routinely experience as Americans. They have hitherto failed
to understand the roll played by Congress and the Senate, and
this doesn't even begin to address the harm caused by wealthy and
powerful special interest groups.

#2. Are the American people finally aware of the need for
sweeping change? To what extent will the "ninety-nine Percent"
movement impact our economic and political milieus? I've not seen
very much in the way of support on the part of our democratic
politicians, Obama in particular. I expected our President and
the democratic party to embrace this movement, at the very least
as a means of countering the Tea Party movement. Perhaps this
will change during the upcoming year, but I tend to have my
doubts on that score.

I strongly believe that an uninformed electorate makes for a
damned ineffectual one to say the least. Knowledge is power, and
the lack thereof is perforce weakness. Unless America wakes up
and begins to realize what is really going on in
Washington, this nation's days of greatness are numbered.

#3. Finally, is our system too corrupt for reform to take
hold? Have we already sealed our fait by allowing special
interest groups to turn our representative democracy into a
corporate fascist state? If such be the case, and it very well
could be, then it ultimately doesn't matter how the upcoming
elections turn out. All we can do at present is watch events and
do all in our power to support progressivism and importune the
gods for the best outcome.

After all, suppose Obama is reelected, but a strong
contingency of Republicans is also voted back into office. Should
such turn out to be the case, then we will only stay our present
course, and remain just as fucked as we are at the moment. There
is no way to reliably predict the direction in which votes will
tend. On the one hand, we certainly do have progressive voters,
but on the other hand, and this is what bothers me the most, we
have conservative ultra religious voters who are willing to
embrace the corrupt policies of the Republicans, or at least
overlook their corruption.

We are in a power struggle between the dogmatic and
reactionary right wing and the progressivist left wing factions.
The cause of Progressivism seemed to be well on its way to
fruition, until the Democrats lost their filibuster-proof
majority when a Republican won Senator Kennedy's seat in
Massachusetts. Republican obstructionism was then all too
possible, and the GOP then proceeded to sabotage the Obama
administration at every possible opportunity. The elections of
2010 paved the way for an outright avalanche of Republican
skulduggery and chicanery that has proven to be highly
deleterious to the over-all cause of Progressivism. We will
either reverse this trend in 2012, or corporate fascism will
become our mode of governance.

Feel free to visit my website and my blog and learn more about me
and what I stand for.
My Website @ http://riverwind.shellworld.net
My Blog http://windraven13.livejournal.com/

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Writer's Block: Sorry seems to be the hardest word

Apr. 10th, 2011 | 04:14 pm
location: North Florida
mood: contemplativecontemplative

If there was one person, living or dead, to whom you could apologize, who would you choose, and what would you say?

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Our National Polarization and its consequences

Apr. 29th, 2009 | 08:55 pm

As President Obama's first one-hundred days in office come to
an end, and we look with both hope and trepidation at the three
years and eight or-so months which lie before us, I myself have a
few questions for the conservative minded members of this nation.
There has been of late a good deal of defense and/or justification
for the Republican's position and state of being at the moment.
First of all, I here the Republicans incessantly calumniating
Obama's actions to-date, describing them as potentially disastrous,
irresponsible, reckless and even insane.

Now lets take an objective look at the facts. We enjoyed a
nice economic surplus when Clinton left office. Eight years later
however, we are in a fairly deep recession, assuming the pundits
and economic indicators are to be believed. In short, Obama
inherited a comedy of errors at which no one is laughing.
Nevertheless, in the eyes of the Republicans, Obama is damned if he
does and damned if he doesn't. In a word, any and everything he
does is going to arouse the criticism and outrage of the
conservatives. Such, to my notion at least, is the nature of
politically-based polarization. Admittedly, many of the president's
policies and actions are radical in nature and smack of
desperation. To my way of thinking however, drastic situations
often require drastic measures in order to solve them.

In order to keep the vast majority of our financial
institutions from going into insolvency, massive expenditures are
unfortunately necessary. In order to lower the unemployment rate,
again, large spending programs are unavoidable. Conservatives can
blast Obama's style of administration, and yet they have yet to
offer up any counter suggestions and/or alternative programs that
have the potential of serving as palliative measures for the
political and economic quagmire that has been created during the
past eight years.

This notwithstanding though, it seems as though the over-all
national zeitgeist is changing, and it is doing so in rather an
emphatic fashion. To wit, the republicans have lost the majority of
their political clout, and they seem to be spinning their
collective wheels in the sand. Moreover, if the polls are to be
believed, Obama is enjoying a huge popularity rating at the moment.
The majority of Americans feel that the country is finally moving
in the right direction.

In all honesty, we aught to ask ourselves why this is the
case, I.E. what fundamental events have so radically altered the
American zeitgeist to the point where the country seems fed up with
conservatism. All GOP apologist rhetoric and defensive logic aside,
several inescapable and incontrovertible facts yet remain to
bedevil right wing thinkers. To wit, the Bush administration did
not handle the economy in a responsible fashion.

Consequently, we are facing serious economic problems that
will, as aforesaid, require formidable and even scary measures in
order to stabilize our economy. The current war in Iraq is
predicated upon principles and/or justifications that, regardless
of arguments to the contrary, have been refuted/ debunked. As I see
it, the American population needs to come together as Americans and
not Republicans and/or Democrats. This condition of polarization
has got to be ameliorated or hopefully even eradicated if we are
ever going to work together for the good of America and not for
that of political parties and/or certain chosen groups.

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The Great Republican Tea Party

Apr. 17th, 2009 | 06:21 am

Greetings,

I suppose, thanks to the modern media, I now have the
attention span of a three-year-old. As I am sitting here reading
the news, my head is filled with lots of highly appurtenant
thoughts. However, my mind has this really annoying way of turning
into a sort of kaleidoscope and rapidly cycling on to another
entirely different batch of thoughts and impressions that supersede
and ultimately override those perfectly valid and relevant original
cognitive processes. This is in large-part why I don't blog all
that much any more. I all but unconsciously digest and excrete an
ever-growing pile of facts, thoughts and beliefs pertaining to the
economic, political, social, historical and other milieus that I
try to explore on nearly a daily basis.

Take for instance this tea party business initiated by the
conservatives. Now I haven't the slightest problem with their
expressing their views and feelings regarding how the current
administration is trying to run this country. They, like everyone
else, have a perfect right to make their voices heard and their
feelings known. The gods know that those of us who are more
liberally inclined expressed our share of vitriol, concern and
disappointment during the eight painful years of the previous
administration. In short, we were pissed off, and we had a lot to
say about it.

During this symbolic gathering, participants chanted such
slogans as "Obama lied, and Capitalism died." They of course had so
much more unpleasant things to say about our president and his
administration, and it quite frankly disturbs me. We were angry,
Because Bush sent us to war with Iraq without any real provocation.
In fact the justifications upon which this war is predicated were
thoroughly debunked long before the younger Bush even left office.
This has a lot to do with why his popularity ratings were so low
during the last two years of his final term. Moreover, we kept
reading about how his cabinet was so fraught with corruption and
resignations. We were both disturbed and angered at the Patriot Act
and all of the warrantless wire-tapping. We were furious when Bush
practically practiced Nepotism, as he seemingly adopted all of the
rich individuals and large corporations, upon whom he then
proceeded to shower all manner of tax breaks and otherwise accord
them preferential status. Of course we were upset, but we had
damned good reason to be.

However, as all of the outrages that upset we liberals so
profoundly were unfolding, we never heard a negative peep out of
the Republicans. Nothing Bush the younger did seemed to arouse the
ire of his constituents. So long as all of the Bush affronts to our
civil liberties and a misbegotten war were the machinations of a
Republican President, the conservative electorate was not unduly
discomfited. However, when ever Obama tries to clean up a mess that
wasn't even of his making, all bloody Hell breaks loose on the
Right Wing front. Nothing that the new President attempts is even
remotely acceptable in Republican eyes. Each and everything Obama
does, irrespective of the hopefully positive results, will only
arouse the indignation and protests of conservative thinkers.

Sure the ever expanding budget is of grave concern, but so are
the multifarious issues that made Obama's spending increases
necessary in the first place. Seeing as how we are in such economic
and political distress, something of a radicle nature is needed in
order to hopefully set things to rights once more. If these
conservatives are so concerned about the state of our economy, why
are they only now raising such an outcry? Why have they heretofore
failed to become concerned and distraught? I don't like the
probable exponential increase of our national deficit anymore than
anyone else.

However, what else can we do? During the presidential
campaigns, McCain only offered pretty much a continuation of the
same policies that were pursued by his would-be predecessor. It was
Obama who had a new game plan, and America rightly believed that an
alternative plan was very much a desirable thing. Despite the fact
that conservative thinkers have yet to come up with a viable plan
of their own, they nevertheless have a superabundance of
disparaging commentary to offer up when it comes to the efforts of
the current administration. They certainly didn't seem to have any
ideas and/or suggestions during the past eight years. For that
matter, they seemed perfectly happy with the then status quo.

Bright Blessings,
RiverWind

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Mindless Voting

Oct. 12th, 2008 | 04:03 am

Greetings,

I find it both significant and fascinating to learn that Obama
enjoys a thirteen point lead over McCain among americans who have
completed either college or graduate school. Of equal importance
however, is the fact that Obama trails McCain to the tune of twelve
points among americans who either boast a high school education or
less. I'll bet I am starting to sound like an elitist; sorry. But
you know, this is truly a telling phenomenon, because it says so
much about the american electorate.

Prejudice, like most other things, is hard-wired into a
certain section of our brains. According to anthropologists,
sociologists and evolutionary psychologists, the various cognitive
and emotional nuances of bigotry are chiefly derivative of defense
mechanisms upon which we were highly dependent for survival far
back in our more primitive antiquity. Likewise, those
predispositions that determine whether we are republican or
democrat, conservative or liberal, also evolved from these same
atavistic imperatives. Lastly, our instinctual flocking with those
who are predisposed similarly to ourselves is chiefly a byproduct
of these innate survival motivated factors.

However, if this premise is even moderately accurate, how does
it reconcile its self with the issue of nature verses nurture? Are
we to conclude that those among us who are less educated tend to be
more primitive in their cognitive processes? This tentative
speculation could hypothetically provide the basis for the nature
aspect of this cautiously evolving model. Likewise, education,
especially that of a more extensive nature, seems to mitigate or in
many cases even eradicate the primitive predispositions under
consideration. Education then, seems to provide the nurture
component of our little theory.

Such being the case, for the sake of discussion at least,
perhaps it could explain how it is that we have come so far along
the road of social evolution during the passed forty-five or so
years. All throughout the twentieth century, racial bigotry and
political conservatism were rife in our society. However, during
the sixth decade of the passed century, we seem to have hit a
significant intellectual growth spurt, the results of which are
quite apparent in our society today. It is starting to really look
as though the majority of Americans will finally be able to bring
themselves to elect a black president of all things, one with such
a foreign name as Barack Hussein Obama yet. What with all of the
african and moslem aspects of his name, not to mention his skin
color, I would have never given Obama even the ghost of a chance
back in early February of this year.

However, we still have Republicans who feel no anger toward
our current president, and who will willingly vote for McCain,
despite the economic conflagrations that have been visited upon
this entire nation during the last eight years. There are Americans
who still insist that the conflict in Iraq is a necessary component
of the "War Against Terrorism." I just can't help but wonder what
area of the brain causes many otherwise intelligent people to
reason in such a self delusional fashion. How is it that people en-
mass can so completely abrogate wisdom to the point where simple
reality ends up in a condition of such unadulterated obfuscation?
Until this question can be thoroughly resolved, humanity I believe
will continue to experience a great deal of uncertainty, insecurity
and oftentimes, chaos.

Bright Blessings,
RiverWind

"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for those whom we
despise, we don't believe in it at all." Noam Chomsky

Riverwind's little place in Cyber Space @
http://www.shellworld.net/~riverwind

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A New Day For America

Jun. 4th, 2008 | 02:19 pm

A Victory for We the People

I tend not to view the end of the primary campaigning season
as necessarily a loss for Hillary Clinton, nor do I truly see it as
a victory for Obama. I do however, view the matter in terms of a
victory for the American people. We have for the very first time in
our entire history as a nation, watched a seesaw electorial contest
unfold between a woman and an Afro-American.

We saw the Democratic party deeply divided, and in large-part,
this division was along racial and gender lines. I have read
several accounts of virulent racist and sexist sentiments being
expressed by members of different state constituencies. There are
many Americans who absolutely will not vote for a candidate,
irrespective of how competent and/or eminently qualified they might
happen to be, soli because of their race or gender. Oh yes, bigotry
is yet alive and thriving in our society. However, I can't help but
view the impending nomination of Obama as a sign that racism at
least is on the wane.

This time last year, I would not have been able to conceive of
Obama's viability as a candidate, either on the primary or the
general levels. I took it for granted that the presidential contest
would perforce be waged between Clinton and McCain; any alternative
scenario would have seemed not only implausible, but downright
impossible. Even during this most astonishing of primary campaigns,
I right up until the very last possible moment, expected Clinton to
pull off the nomination, Obama's impressive numbers
notwithstanding. Ever since early February when he performed so
well on Super Tuesday, I have been a staunch supporter of Obama,
not for misogynistic reasons, but because I honestly and perhaps
naively believe that he represents profound change, a commodity in
which this nation of our's stands in great need at the moment.

The past eight years have taken so much out of this nation,
and I truly believe that America is possibly sicker than she has
ever been. Our government has reached lower depths of corruption
and incompetence than ever before, in my opinion. We as a people
need to witness a radicle restructuring of our government, and this
shakeup needs to occur on all levels. We need to get our economy
back on track, end the Iraq war and reestablish our standing in the
international community. Can one administration accomplish these
formidable tasks? If the "Democratic party comes together in a
concerted effort to set things right, the issues of which I speak
can indeed be remedied. However, the Republicans also need to rally
to the cause of change, and the restoration of our country's well-
being.

During Bush's two terms of office, we have learned just how
corrupt and incompetent our elected officials can actually be.
Former members of the Bush cabinet have lately been crawling out of
the woodwork to publish their personal accounts of the extent to
which the Washington establishment has broken down and failed not
only its self, but we the people as well. Some of these accounts
are downright incredible, not to mention dismaying. I have for
years taken it for granted that our government was unscrupulous in
many ways, but I never realized just how debased it had actually
become.

If we are going to pull ourselves out of this quagmire of
moral, economic and political dissipation, the effort to do so must
be widespread, sincere and concerted. Our multifaceted
deterioration is so much like a cancer that has metastasized to a
potentially lethal extent. In order for this nation to find and
then implement a cure for what ails it, those whom we send to
Washington first need to acknowledge that the problem even exists,
because solutions are not possible if our officials remain in a
state of denial.

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