I started reading the newspaper when I was in seventh grade. My favorite section was the opinion section. Reading the likes of Cal Thomas when I was in seventh grade, in study hall within a crumbling school building (my mother helped pass a tax referendum to fund a new building). This was 1994, halcyon days, OJ trial days, as it were. I dreamed: "My future occupation will be as an opinion columnist." Oh, friends, I may just one day enter that hallowed line of work.
What the simple reading of a newspaper did for me was develop writing and thinking skills. One may "connect the dots" in perusing the objectively-voiced AP articles, which lead to a critique of our times in the opinion section.
I had a reminiscence of these days today, as I read four seemingly unconnected stories in the Arizona Daily Star. I read the headline:
U.S forces hand over part of key province to IraqisI thought, "Finally, the Administration's lies will benefit something, for they will pull out of Najaf province, which has already been lost, and suppress the news reports of ethnic cleansing. It will be a Shiite province, and no more U.S. troops will be killed by IEDs there.
Then I read:
Virginia lawmaker's anti-Muslim letter stirs furorNow, the xenophobia of our country is reaching high pitch. By proposing the exclusion of a class of Americans from public service, Mr. Goode would have us return to a time when only some Americans have full citizen status.
In a letter sent to hundreds of voters this month, Rep. Virgil H. Goode Jr., R-Va., warned that the recent election of the first Muslim to Congress posed a serious threat to the nation's traditional values.
(Chritian patriot Virgil
A country taking rights away, instead of extending them, is in trouble.
How appropriate, then, to read this:
U.S. tourists in Europe find dollar's clout is punyHmm. So much of our country's wealth is tied up on loans to foreign countries that our currency is no longer worth much. "Nobody cares about deficits," said VP Dick Cheney. Well, the next generation will.
How apropos to read, then:
Plans for larger military costly, time-consumingOh, joy. The Pentagon is not big enough; we obviously do not spend enough money on our military, although it's true that we spend more on our military than the rest of the world combined. I have always thought, "Boy, not only do we need a big enough military to fight a two-front war; we also need a big enough military to have a two occupations at the same time.
President Bush plans to enlarge the Army and the Marine Corps, but finding more recruits will be expensive, challenging and time-consuming.
(Don Rumsfeld and Joint Chiefs
chairman, Gen. Peter Pace)
What a brilliant idea. Sounds a lot like Rome around 200 CE, buying off hordes of mercenaries to fight in Germania.
Who be our Cassandra, truthsayer in the face of passionate ignorance?
Obviously the connections between these news bits lead to the obvious point that our country is pumping loaned money into military quagmires and it's not benefiting the average Joe.
How apposite, then, to read:
Wall Street bonuses buying lavish gifts"Image consultant"? WTF?
One New York wife is getting a $50,000-plus diamond ring, thanks to hubby's Wall Street bonus. An executive is giving $1 million in private jet time...
"I haven't seen such excess displays of wealth and extravagance during the holidays since the 1980s," said Samantha von Sperrling, a New York-based image consultant and personal shopper.
How come? Securities firms will soon award bonuses to workers in New York City that State Comptroller Alan Hevesi said will total a record $23.9 billion, up 17 percent from last year.This America is not recognizable. Or, it is. It looks like the 1920s, with speculation, decadent fashions and morals, and colonial foreign wars (i.e. the post-Mexican War period).
Get yours, y'all.