Under normal circumstances I try to be as respectful to people as possible. I think we can all use a daily dose of fair and respectable treatment among the constant stress of life these days. I say that as a sort of apology for what I am going to have to do here – because, honestly, enough is enough.
WHY ARE YOU HOLDING HEARINGS ABOUT STEROID USE IN BASEBALL WHEN THERE ARE REAL ISSUES IN THIS COUNTRY TO DEAL WITH?!?!?!!
Once gain, I am really sorry. I do not like to get disrespectful, but sometimes people just get so involved in things that they need to have a little reality check to bring their heads above water and see where they are in the real world. And, honestly, the American people are tired of it.
Really, I do want an answer to what you guys are thinking. That is our tax-payer money at work? I seriously doubt that steroid use in baseball is of high concern to the people of America. I do realize it is harmful, and we really don’t want our children following the example of these people. But, honestly, MLB has their own system, let them deal with this issue. I also realize this is not the only thing that Congress is doing, but it is something you should never have gotten your hands on in the first place. Let’s get our government back representing the people.
As a little help to you, and to be more than just a jerk-letter-writer, I have prepared for you a list of things Congress might actually want to pay a little more attention to:
- President Bush’s use of classic wartime psychology and scare tactics to push through liberty violating laws such as the USA Patriot Act and the surveillance act he is trying to get congress to renew as I write this. America: Land of those willing to give up basic constitutionally guaranteed liberties because honestly we’re scared as hell. Is that where we are as a nation?
- President Bush’s irresponsible tax rebate package that is increasing our massive national debt that is forcing the weakening of the American Dollar around the world, and will be responsible for a real recession that is in our future.
- The United State’s use of violence and threats of violence around the world, such as with Iran, to force other countries to comply with our selfish demands. A tactic, should anybody else employee it, we would immediately define as terrorism.
- The occupation by the United States of foreign countries, through the placement of military bases, invasion, and intimate ties with tyrannical regimes (such as in Saudi Arabia, a country that has one of the worst human rights records in the world), that is doing nothing more than serving as a powerful recruiting tool for future terrorists and of no profit to the American people – outside corporate interests, of course.
- The use of military action in foreign lands without a deceleration of war from Congress.
- The use of torture by our military and the CIA, endorsed by the President, through loop-holes in the definition of torture. And this isn’t even so much about law, this is about a certain decent amount of respect to our fellow human beings, no matter the situations we find ourselves in. (UPDATE: Good job Senate in outlawing this! Now we just have to watch out for further loop-holing.)
- The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) treaty that is having devastating effects on the already weak economy of Mexico because of abuses (maybe not legal, but surely moral) by the United States and corporations within it.
- The imminent collapse of Social Security Insurance. Come on, we all know we just need to raise the age of retirement to something like 72. This thing was never meant to finance permanent vacations at the end of people’s lives. That would be nice, I agree, but it doesn’t seem to be working.
- Identity theft, caused by nothing more than the irresponsibility and immoral giving of credit by banking institutions and credit card companies and the free flow of information through 'credit checking' companites.
- The relaxing of lending laws that have left us with our current mortgage crisis and other less public tragedies like the exploitation of lower income families through the payday loan institution.
- Guantanamo Bay. Really, guys, is this who we are? We hold suspected terrorists --- or people with ties to suspected terrorists -- in some off shore prison so that the people of the United States can’t really ever find out what is going on there, using a loop-hole in the Geneva Convention treaties? Not only is this illegal on an international scale, it is immoral. These guys don’t stand a chance. Ten out of over 300 prisoners have actually been accused of a crime? Most of them will probably never see the flickering florescent light of a court room. This isn’t protecting America, this is bullying at a grand scale. Let’s put an end to this. There is no reason we can’t treat these people with the same moral and human rights that we as Americans expect to be treated with. This is immoral. You know it. I know it. The American people know it. Maybe we don’t want to admit it to ourselves because it makes us feel safe, but somebody has to be the bigger person here, eventually. We all look back in shame at the way Japanese and German Americans were treated during World War II. Let’s put an end to this shame right now.
- Our President just returned from a "peace" tour of the Middle East, during which he offered to sell weapons to that very same tyrannical regime with a horrible human rights record that I discussed earlier (Saudi Arabia).
- It seems to me we have a rogue president: scare tactics to take away liberties, immoral distribution of weapons, driving our nation further and further into debt which will force us into recession, the supporting of torture (though thankfully the Senate outlawed this). All this done with the aid of a brood of lawyers to find loop-holes in every moral agreement this country has every made with itself or other nations.
- The supporting of Israel with their expansionist policies, which is the one thing keeping them from peace. Sure, I know the situation is complicated. But really, it comes down to this: Israel wants more land, and they don’t want peace because then they will have to behave themselves. The power hungry leaders in the Muslim community use hate of Israel (and not unjustifiable hate, at times) to spur on violent acts against Israel. Which Israel then uses as an excuse to invade and occupy all for their expansionist goals. We should not be supporting this. By supporting it we are destroying the lives, happiness and wellbeing of the 95% of the populations of both the Israeli and Palestinian nations which desire nothing more than to lead peaceful lives. I do know that Bush has used some "strong" language along these lines, lately. But there is a huge difference between "strong" language and strong actions – and how can he be taken seriously as a advocate for peace when the very next day he approached Saudi Arabia with an arms deal! We should cut off all ties with Israel – especially in the supplying of weapons – until they decide to grow up and play fair.
Should people from other countries not deserve the very same humane treatment that we as Americans expect, just because they aren’t Americans? Aren’t we supposed to be "all men, created equally...," but now instead we are "Americans, created better…?" All in an effort to make ourselves feel safer? Because there is no proof these actions are actually making us safer. For a matter of fact, studies have shown that our actions in this "War on Terror" have only fueled further terrorist recruitment.
It’s kind of like last night when I was watching the news, and the reporters just couldn’t figure out why we keep having these shootings on school and university campuses. These are indeed horrible things, but there is no need to sit around and wonder why they keep happening. The shooters have almost always left videos or notes of why they do it. They repeat the same basic message over and over: they feel rejected by their communities and peers; they have been isolated, they are lonely, and they have been driven to desperate action. Sure, these people aren’t mentally stable – which explains their flawed definition of “desperate actions” – but this is a HUGE problem in our society. The fragmentation and isolation of people is the number one cause of these school shootings and of many other problems in American society, if you want to get honest.
In the same vein, we don’t have to wonder why terrorists attack us and seek the destruction of our nation. They have told us, and they keep telling us. Some of them get a bit radical and go on about how we all need to turn to Islam, but most reasons given for attacks are very simple: we (the United States) occupy their (holy) land, and we support and aid tyrannical regimes which suppress the human rights of and kill these people. Everybody in the world seems to understand this except Americans. The terrorists give us this, and we still sit around mussing, “I wonder why they hate us?” and continue on with the same actions that brought their anger to our doorsteps in the first place. No, I take that back, we have increased those actions ten-fold.
Just look at our foreign affairs record; the way we force ourselves and our selfish demands on other nations with political, economic and even violent military pressure; at our supporting of evil power structures in lands we have no real business in, all the while ignoring legitimate claims of genocide and inhumane treatment of people the world over. We try to make ourselves out as the good guys, as the world police, but the only thing we ever seem to protect in this world is our own corporate and economic interests.
In my travels, the biggest surprise I have found toward Americans is that we are nice people. The American people don’t like to see it, but our actions around the world are nothing short of immoral. And the people of the world are amazed that we, as individuals, are not the same way. We need to do something to not only stop, but also to counteract these tragedies committed by America in the name of peace and justice. It is our responsibility, as the perpetrators of such crimes around the world, to right these wrongs and do what we can to put this world that we all find ourselves living in to a better place.
Not to mention the problems right here at home. We have CEOs making $100 million a year, in reported earnings (and that isn’t even approaching the top of the list), while the economically bottom 40% of our society can’t afford to pay their bills on a daily basis. Americans have lost their lives to their jobs, working on average 49 hours a week and taking a mere 4 days of vacation a year, afraid to take more for fear of losing their jobs. None of that, however, is really a problem that Congress needs to deal with. The American people need to deal with it ourselves.
I am merely saying maybe a leader needs to stand up and say these things: That we have the potential to be the greatest nation on Earth right now – we have the power and the resources and the ability, if only we had the will. We, instead, use these massive fortunes that have come our way for our own selfish interests, instead of making America and the world at large a better place in which to live.
Back on subject: your role -- Congress’ role in the fate of this nation of ours is to take care of fiasco after fiasco created by our government’s immoral and ridiculous actions that I have tried to outline in this letter, and in all the things I’ll forget to mention.
With hope for a more respectable American future,