Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Troubling times

I'm upset today about several matters. That old phrase--the world is going to hell in a handbasket--seems too true tonight.
Like many, I am upset, angry, you name it over the Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case. There are so many reasons why it's wrong--gender discrimination, personal liberty, all the things that have been mentioned ad nauseum on Facebook. But the big problem, to me, is that it's another push down the slippery slope toward a capitalistic oligarchy. SCOTUS (always makes me want to add an "r") has consistently sided with corporations against individuals. That's not the country our Founding Fathers had in mind--remember individual liberty? The phrase, "With liberty and justice for all"? We slide farther and farther away from that all the time.
I was never a big fan of George W. Bush (no chuckles from those who know me well, please) but it seems to me we are feeling his legacy. He supported corporations and gave them big tax cuts--too many of which are still in effect today. And the five appointees who constituted the majority in yesterday's decision are all, I believe, Bush appointees. Those appointments have long-lasting effects, and I suspect if any of those five wanted to retire tomorrow they'd hang on until 2016 in hopes of a conservative president. (Let's not even mention that the current trouble in Iraq is part of the Bush/Cheney legacy too).
A country where corporations rule will be a country where the individual counts for nothing. It reminds me in some ways of the Industrial Revolution, where individuals were swept aside in favor of machines. Read The Education of Henry Adams for insight on that issue.
Then today I read that we are deporting 25,000 children to Mexico, children who fled to avoid the abuse and torture of the cartels. Their parents, fearing for them, sent them alone across the border...and we are sending them back to that very life. Who knows if any, particularly the tiny ones, will ever find their families again? I was particularly taken by a commenter on Facebook who pointed out the cartels wouldn't be so powerful if it weren't for the U.S. insatiable market for illegal drugs. We create the problem, and we make it worse.
No, I don't know what to do with 25,000 undocumented, parentless children, but there's got to be a better way than sending them back to a life of horror.
And then there are homophobes who take the SCOTUS decision as license to discriminate against gays--I can't quite figure their logic, but I know the hatred is there.
I truly wish I lived in a country of compassion and love, not hatred and greed.

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