Sunday, September 26, 2010

What's Going On?

UPDATED  9/27!!!! 

Why is it that every time I turn around someone is telling me how I should feel and act about any situation happening in the world today? Now, I'm not really talking about any one person, but more as different portions of society that have their ideas of how we should all respond to our world. The media, government, politicians, employers, co-workers, friends, relatives, etc. They all have some sort of expectation on how each of us handles our lives. The thing is, we are all individuals who have torn our own path through life and the stimuli we have encountered over the years shaped who we are, and more importantly, how we behave or respond to the world around us. So, I've compiled a bit of a list that shows how many times we are expected to behave one way, while the bigger picture reveals hypocrisy and compromise all around us. Sometimes, looking behind the curtain can reveal a lot about ourselves and the people we share the planet with.

1) We are expected by many not to bitch about how much we pay in taxes. But, it's been my experience that those who tell me to pay up my fair share use every loophole they can find to get out of paying taxes. Take a look at our politicians. The same ones who say we need to pony up to help the national cause are registering luxury items out of state, hiding speaking engagement revenue, or simply not paying taxes at all. How can any of our national leaders expect us to sit by and have our paychecks raided, when those people don't know how to use the money for much of anything that benefits the country as a whole? We pay property taxes, we pay gasoline taxes, we pay sales taxes, we pay local taxes, we pay national taxes, we pay energy taxes, and we pay "sin" taxes (ie, tobacco/alcohol). And for tax sake, I'm sure I've missed a few. I realize taxes are important, but don't shame me until you are better stewards of MY money, which you take from me for MY work.

2) We are expected to help out those in need. People who have lost homes, jobs, loved ones and all sorts of horrible things in life deserve our kindness and help. Charity is a good thing. But you know, I don't really need the government officials and citizens of our nation who supported the bailouts of the mortgage lenders and automobile makers telling me anything about helping those in need find a better way. Our government has handed out billions to the aforementioned corporations. Bailing out those who already have money? Bailing out those who are at fault for their own situation? Are you kidding me? That money couldn't have went to help actual people who were losing their homes and jobs? They want us to spend to get our economy going and they gave billions of dollars to companies who turned around and gave out huge bonuses and threw elaborate parties. It's sickening. Those who need the help had their homes taken and the idiots who held the mortgages were given a reprise, even though they KNOWINGLY gave out bad loans.

3) I'm supposed to be concerned about the health care crisis in our country, but it's hard to be. Especially when hospitals, clinics, specialized medicine, and private practices have been raping insurance companies for decades. We've all heard the stories about $25 Q-Tips, and charging hundreds for office visits that basically consist of looking into a throat and ears. Rubbish. Bill at an appropriate rate and take pressure off the insurance companies to continuously raise rates. YOU are the very reason that we are going to get this national health care disaster in a few years. Funny how many places will bill you at a different rate if you don't have insurance. They KNOW they are screwing someone and if you are not screw worthy, they'll take what they can get.

4) And insurance companies don't get off easy either. Pay into auto insurance without incident for a decade and then have a fender bender. See how the "safe hands" treat you then! They'll drop your ass or balloon your rates. Same with health care. Pay into it forever and then when you get sick, you have to juggle through list after list of "eligible" providers and pay huge sums out of pocket.

5) So, let me get this straight......we are running out of oil on the planet and I need to curb my consumption and pass that along to my children. How low can we be getting when every politician, celebrity, and hotshot CEO fly in private jets every day? NASCAR, Indy Racing, and all other sorts of combustible engine luxuries run the hell out of gasoline. Hell, they probably spill more on the ground during one race then I use in two months! Not to mention college and pro sports teams jetting all over the place daily. I just don't care about conserving energy when people who use the most don't care.

6) I'm supposed to care about the environment. Be friendly to mother earth. Recycle my plastics. Why? It cost more money and takes more energy to actually recycle plastic than create new plastic. The government sat on their hands while millions of barrels of crude oil poured into the gulf. Only when it started to become a POLITICAL catastrophe did we get any sort of reaction. Hell, that only took a month. So, how important is it for me to turn off the lights when I leave a room? Really? Can't be that big of a deal. The sun gives us free energy, but I don't see anyone going nuts to make sure we start actually using alternative fuels at the highest levels. Our government beats us over the head about foreign oil, yet we continue to increase our purchasing from other countries and ignore what we actually have here.

7) I really want to slap people who bitch to me about how bad things are and how my vote makes a difference and then later tell me that vote straight ticket every time. What? Talk about being a pawn.....that says all I need to know about someones concern for the national well being.

8) PETA tells us to respect animals and treat their lives as valuable. But PETA kills about 90% of the animals it takes in to "protect" every single year. Seems that the common person who hunts, fishes, and consumes animal products is probably more thoughtful and caring about other animals on the planet than the very people who say they protect them. And while I'm at it......Green Peace.....fuck you. Destroying others property and denying their rights is not a badge of honor. Between spiking trees and ramming into fishing boats, they put more human lives at risk than the lives that would be taken from whaling. And by the way....trees grow back, you dumb asses.

9) What's with all the hoopla over the hungry and homeless? Sure, I feel for their situations and my family gives when it can. But, how can any organization in any city, town, or country who places such a high value on building sports arenas, stadiums, racetracks, and tax loophole mega warehouses (that sit empty, by the way) tell me that I need to give more to the needy? I'm all for entertainment. I'm all for rebuilding our cities and having nice facilities for people to enjoy. But, if we can afford a 200 million dollar basketball or baseball venue, why in the hell can't we afford to help those who are hungry and homeless?

10) And finally, why is it that many people of faith preach tolerance, but have very little of it for others? Every day I can find an article from some place in the world where the religious are upset that there is a billboard saying "There Is No God", or that an author writes a book on atheism, or a cartoonist depicts Mohammad, or that those who don't have faith have no place in public service. Look, if you are a Christian/Muslim/Buddhist/Mormon or are NOT being persecuted. God is everywhere. On money. In movies. In our pledge. You can't throw a Catholic priest without hitting a church. Did you know there are places in the U.S.A.....yes, America, land of the free, where you can't run for office if you are an atheist? You can't participate in the Boy Scouts unless you have some sort of faith. Christians are a HUGE voting block and have vast amounts of power in this country, yet cry about how their rights are being trampled on. Good luck with that.....I'm not buying.

11) Just added this. How about the government, especially the past 3 presidential administrations talking about transparency in government, but not actually taking the steps to make that happen, while at the same time stripping our privacy rights to damn near nothing? Fuck politicians. There is something inherently wrong with a person who begs others for money, so he/she can grab power. 

Well, for now, that's all I got. Like it or not, there it is. The loss of logic in our society is mind numbing. We are devolving as a culture in many ways. Expectations can become burdens. As free living human beings, it's our duty to see things for what they are and if we feel the need, to do something about it. But, that said, it shouldn't come at the expense of others who are minding their own business and are not harming others. Please do not mistake this blog for my not caring about people or the world. I care about those things on my terms, not someone else's, especially not those who are in a terrific position to really be effective in helping out with all sorts of problems around the globe.  

Father, father, everybody thinks we're wrong
Oh, but who are they to judge us
Simply because our hair is long
Oh, you know we've got to find a way
To bring some understanding here today

"Whats Going On"---Marvin Gaye

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