Monday, January 25, 2010


There are reports in newspapers and in a book about some of the torturous procedures at Guantanamo. These reports concern the deaths of three prisoners there, one of them around the age of 19. These men were not proven to be terrorists, but seemed to be people just swept up by the tide that went through Afghanistan, when all one had to do to end up in Guantanamo is be turned in by an acquaintance or be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The military authorities deemed these deaths to be suicides, but witnesses claim it was murder. If so, it was covered up and never revealed until these articles were printed. It was said the suicides were brought about by the men stuffing rags down their throats, but witnesses say this didn't happen, that the torturers were the ones who stuffed the rags and caused the deaths of these men.

Perhaps an investigation will follow, or perhaps these deaths will be swept under a rug, to join the mass of atrocities nurtured and approved by the previous administration, leaders who employed a host of lawyers to make sure their sins would never be punished and events that emphasized the fact that you and I will pay for any illegal action, but powerful and dishonest people can get away with crimes that make you cringe just to read about them.

President Obama has been dismayed by the divisions so prevalent in our country. Rightwing, leftwing, one extreme to the other. The Republican Party seems to be led by a group of religiously radical folks, who preach the love and generosity commanded by Jesus in the Bible, but realistically ignore those commands to lead a campaign against their political enemy, Liberals. On the other hand, Liberal Presidents led the country into a maze of taxes and giveaways, to a point where many people felt that their money was being ripped from their paychecks and used to finance sloth and ignorance.

Personally, I don't think that God would approve of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter, along with the other pundits making our differences as wide as a chasm between two mountains. I would imagine there are more people listening to the three aforementioned people than are reading their Bibles. I would imagine that a daily dose of vitriolic hatred keeps the fires of division burning!

With people like Beck, Limbaugh and their ilk leading the troops of Republicans, I doubt if the division in this country will ever be closed. That chasm is fueled by words of hatred. It is burnished and nourished by words of selfishness and greed!

When elections consist of Advertisements that are patently false, when slogans and phrases
ruin reputations, impugn character, try to make cowards out of heroes and base elections on angry, hateful words and false allegations, how can any voter make an intelligent choice and select the man most capable for the job?

When a group of people...the Base....turn religion into a weapon of war and try to infiltrate our government with their beliefs, how can any intelligent person not resent the intrusion into their personal lives, the repudiation of their faith, and the attempted demolition of America as a land where all religions are welcome and cherished?

We all know life can be a bumpy road. If one saves up $100, a bill will arrive in the mail demanding $200. It's a fact of life. The best-laid plans of mice and men....well, we all know the phrases, and financial plans seem to be hit more often than anything else. So, if one group of people believes that poor folks, those with no savings, no retirement plans, no medical insurance, are not just unfortunate and reeling under the blows that life can deal, but are lazy, no-good bums with their hands out.....where's the Christian compassion there?

We have herded our African American neighbors into poor, rundown, smelly, horrible sections of our midcities, have denied them good jobs until forced to give some to them by governmental law, failed to loan them money for businesses and factories, forced them to exist on pittances handed out by the government, broken up their families because of poverty, slammed their children in jail, then some people ignorant of the facts have deemed them lazy bums unworthy of help. Let us just say that very few people have paid tuition to send their children to the crumbling midcity schools....schools with no playgrounds, with broken-down plumbing, with a lack of teachers and inexperienced administrators.

Red states...states that are half red, half would wonder what Thomas Jefferson would think of America today. Think about it, colonial America contained this group of highly intelligent men, who sat together and hammered out a Consitution that has served us up to our modern times. It is priceless, a testament to Freedom, promising a better life for every man, woman and child. It doesn't segregate people by race, by religion or color. It simply gave us a pattern to follow, reminiscent of Biblical commands, yet we have tried to interpret those words to mean the opposite of what they say. We try to tack on amendments that reveal our bigotry and foolishness.

United, many of these problems could be solved. United, this country could ward off the evils of terrorism. United, our citizens could enjoy an equal lifework in a country where equality is promised. Divided, we are doomed to failure and will squabble away every chance that we have.

I lived through a great World War and I can remember the unity then. Every family worked to assure victory on the battlefield. Granted, back then we were fighting soldiers in uniforms. You could tell a soldier from an average citizen. In today's world, we are fighting shadows. We are suspicious of anyone with the dark features and clothing of a Middle Easterner. We fear the possibility of an airplane being bombed, but ignore the fact that hundreds of people die or are injured each month in auto accidents. There is no Fear of Autos, and there should be, because your chances and mine of dying in an automobile far outweigh your possible death in a terrorist attack.

To most of us, these terrorists are not only frightening, but spooky. They wrap themselves in outlandish garb and their dark eyes show no glimmer of understanding of our culture and our beliefs. We have even less understanding of theirs. Their religion may be the fastest growing faith in the world, but it seems rather weird and threatening to most of us. We are told that Islam is based on peace and love, but believing this in this wartorn world is difficult to do. Do it we must, because our Constitution promises Freedom of Religion and Muslim-Americans should enjoy the same pleasures that the rest of us share!

United we stand, divided we fall....this old saying is very true. We are bringing about our own demise in America. First, we didn't protest and hold Tea Parties as Corporations fled the country to save labor costs in China and India. Secondly, we thronged to the Dollar Stores to buy cheap goods and purchase Toyotas instead of Fords. Third, we believe publicity as though it is Gospel. If someone says a Ford isn't reliable or all Unions are evil, we believe what we hear. Fourth, we are not living up to the Freedom of Religion the Constitution upholds.

It is politicians that have brought us down to our knees and, if we elect one good, honest man, we can't recognize this factor because the right or leftwing publicity makes us unsure. We demolish the good ones and then scream to the Heavens when the bad ones are in power. Rightwingers hate the Democrats. Leftwingers snort at the mention of the Republicans. In the meantime, Congress drones on, slow as a melting glacier, accomplishing little, babbling and blathering, but seldom taking action. They bask in the security of lifelong Medical Care, paid for by the taxpayers who struggle to keep their own insurance bills paid. Then, too, millions and millions have no insurance at all!

United, we could solve some problems. Divided, we can only enjoy a good fight. Truthfully, we are all at the mercy of the men and women we elect. If a man or woman is intelligent, educated and moral, we have to learn to applaud this fact, no matter which side of the spectrum he represents. Instead, we listen to the likes of Limbaugh and the battle rages on, and we don't seem to have the sense to resort to rational thought.

Which returns me to the subject of torture and possible murder at Guantanamo. Do we investigate and possibly prosecute, thus dividing our country even more? Or do we sweep these miserable deeds under a rug and try to convince ourselves that America, the Beautiful still flies an honorable flag? Our choices remain like ugly warts on smooth, young flesh, but we have to decide between true morality or the ugly sins that can twist the minds and behavior of human beings in a time of war. We have to stand together, united, come what may!