Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Our Long National Nightmare Is Over, Now OUR Work Begins

I'm 41, I'm the first wave of Gen X, and you bet your ass I'm pissed.

With these words I inaugurated Wide Awake In Hoserland in June of 2006. I knew back then that the United States were in a mess, but I'm not sure that I realised how much damage was still to be done. It'll likely take a decade if not a generation to undo that damage. How history will judge George W. Bush remains to be seen. Whatever the judgment let the record of the time show that these were not our best days.

We can do better. We must do better.

I'm 44 now and today I stood in a room with over 1,000 people who cheered, cried and expressed hope for a new direction. It was a moment that I will never forget, and I suspect that this is true for many of us around the country if not the world. It's as though a large weight was lifted from our collective shoulders. The sense of history was palpable.

Now the work begins.

That first Hoserland post addressed many ills of our time; rising energy prices, human rights violations, accounts of treasonous activities, and the disintegration of constitutionally afforded rights. Some of these things President Obama can address. He can close Guantanamo Bay and ensure that the detainees receive fair trials with legal representation. He can issue executive orders against using practises that are classified as torture by the Geneva Conventions as interrogation techniques. He can attempt to make peace with our enemies. He can prohibit spying on fellow citizens without a court issued warrant.

But President Obama is not Superman or Jesus.

Our economic woes, energy dependence and degrading environment are not something that one man can address. Neither are the issues of gender based pay inequality, civil rights for the LGBT community, a strained health care system, or an eroding manufacturing base. This work we must all do. And believe me, it's going to take all of us.

Now more than ever, it is critical that we stay engaged.

• Write your congressional leaders as key issue come before Congress. Let them know where you stand.

• Do not let the environment of politics as usual continue.

• Engage in service based activities in your local community.

• Live a less wasteful life.

• Share.

I'm 44, I'm the first wave of Gen X, and you bet your ass, I'm hopeful.

There are times in history when we are given a unique opportunity. This feels like one of them. It's our opportunity.

So what are we going to do with it, America?

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is like a rainbow after a storm, JF. But as I sit here typing, I wonder, really, what I would change, and what work I would do that I'm not doing now. How to maintain the balance between service and exploitation? Or the balance between the time we devote to friends and neighbors and political activities AND the time we need for families and personal soul-searching/journaling/recuperation? I had just gotten to the point at which I felt balance and peace, and now I feel pressure to change. Am I alone in this? Who moved my cheese?

1:51 PM  
Anonymous John Fracchia said...

I'm not sure that your cheese has been moved as much as I think that a lot of people are now aware that the cheese exists. Change on your part may not be necessary at this moment in time. If you've been doing the good work then your role might be to continue exactly what you're doing and help those who have more recently come along to see what needs to be done.

It's o.k. too to take a break. It was a long hard fight to get here. Take a breather if you need.

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems you have unwittingly struck a great truth. The government can only screw things up royally (see Bush Administration). The government cannot fix anything (see Obama Adminstration).

GD

9:39 PM  
Anonymous John Fracchia said...

I may have unwittingly struck your truth, Greg, but our views differ a bit. Leaders of any kind, government or otherwise, have the capacity to screw up. But they also have the capacity to help improve things, by facilitating access to resources, developing plans and policies and in some cases by inspiring us. It is we the governed, however, who must pick up the mantel and do the hard work. Whether the Obama administration can improve the state of the country remains to be seen.

4:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It is we the governed, however, who must pick up the mantel and do the hard work."

So how does the exit of Bush and the coming of Obama change this?

Was Bush thwarting our personal efforts to do good?

..".they have the capacity to help improve things, by facilitating access to resources, developing plans and policies..."

Could you generalize a little? I hate to get bogged down in specifics, a popular trend these days apparently.

BTW, "my" truth stills stands, you haven't yet contradicted my claim that Obama can't fix anything. What was all the excitement about?

Congrats to Obama for ordering his first murder--now he's really a president.

Cheers,
GD

8:28 PM  
Anonymous John Fracchia said...

I don't find it necessary to contradict your claim. The new administration can champion policies that will rebuild infrastructure, (eventually) improve health care, etc. If these policies succeed, then the President will have had a hand in fixing them. Clearly no person can fix the problems that our nation faces single handedly and I think you know that. The excitement is that for the first time in eight years, the majority of people seem to feel that we have a President who not only understands our needs, but actually cares about them. The Bush administration, by contrast, seemed more concerned about the suppression of civil liberties, promoting the agenda of the religious right and enriching their cronies. And yes, when your President embarks on that type of agenda, it does have a tendency to get in the way of people doing their work.

Honestly, Greg, are you really this cynical, do you simply like to debate, or both?

It's easy to sit on the sidelines and boo everyone, but what are YOU doing to improve things?

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I don't find it necessary to contradict your claim. The new administration can champion policies that will rebuild infrastructure, (eventually) improve health care, etc. If these policies succeed, then the President will have had a hand in fixing them."

Aside from stopping all of the counterproductive things the government does, what can be done?

"Clearly no person can fix the problems that our nation faces single handedly and I think you know that."

Are the things Obama's doing with a lot of help going to fix anything? No.

"The excitement is that for the first time in eight years, the majority of people seem to feel that we have a President who not only understands our needs, but actually cares about them. The Bush administration, by contrast, seemed more concerned about the suppression of civil liberties, promoting the agenda of the religious right and enriching their cronies."

Obama is going to do the same things, it is the nature of government, except he is a religious left guy.

Name one vote Obama ever cast in the Senate to defend civil liberties?
See:
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/06/20/bipartisanship/index.html


As far as his understanding our needs and caring about them--that is just drivel, I must say. Obama is a panderer, plain and simple, he's trying to be all things to all people.


"And yes, when your President embarks on that type of agenda, it does have a tendency to get in the way of people doing their work."

How?

"Honestly, Greg, are you really this cynical, do you simply like to debate, or both?"

Are either or both faults?

"It's easy to sit on the sidelines and boo everyone, but what are YOU doing to improve things?"

I'm writing my blog and teaching school.

http://bowtieobserver.blogspot.com/

GD

11:55 AM  
Anonymous John Fracchia said...

"Aside from stopping all of the counterproductive things the government does, what can be done?"

Well let's look at a few examples through history:

• The establishment of the constitution and the bill of rights.

• Brown v. Topeka Board of Education.

• Establishment of the EPA.

• The Clean Air Act.

• Social Security.

• The Civil Rights Act.

• The Sherman Anti-Trust Act.

I grant you that governments over the years have done equally horrendous stuff, but to say categorically that they can do not good except from being counterproductive, borders on the ridiculous.

"Are the things Obama's doing with a lot of help going to fix anything? No."

I'm sorry, have you developed the gift of clairvoyance? If so, may I please have the winning lotto numbers?

"Obama is going to do the same things, it is the nature of government, except he is a religious left guy."

More clairvoyance?

"Name one vote Obama ever cast in the Senate to defend civil liberties? See:
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/06/20/bipartisanship/index.html"

I'd rather look at the Congressional record.

"As far as his understanding our needs and caring about them--that is just drivel, I must say."

No Greg. To YOU it's drivel. To a lot of people it's NOT drivel. You can say that those people are fools or are being duped, and that's your right. But that doesn't necessarily make it so anymore than does my asserting the converse. These are our opinions for which only the passing of time will prove one of use correct.

"Me: Honestly, Greg, are you really this cynical, do you simply like to debate, or both?"

You: Are either or both faults?"

Critical thinking, no. Unchecked cynicism? Perhaps not a fault, but it could be an area of blindness.

"Me: It's easy to sit on the sidelines and boo everyone, but what are YOU doing to improve things?"

"You: I'm writing my blog and teaching school."

And that's to be commended because at least you are engaged in the process. Do you write to your representative, do you protest?

In looking at your comments for the time that you've been reading Hoserland, I have a sense about what your against, but not really of what you're for.

Aside from government leave me alone, what is it that you believe in? If you ran the zoo what would our country look like?

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

""Aside from stopping all of the counterproductive things the government does, what can be done?"

Well let's look at a few examples through history:

• The establishment of the constitution and the bill of rights.

• Brown v. Topeka Board of Education.

• Establishment of the EPA.

• The Clean Air Act.

• Social Security.

• The Civil Rights Act.

• The Sherman Anti-Trust Act."

This is a list of counter-productive government actions should be repealed or undone. That's what I'm for. How anyone who's studied these things can defend them is beyond me.

Yes, the Articles of Confederation were better; we no longer follow the Constitution.

"I grant you that governments over the years have done equally horrendous stuff, but to say categorically that they can do not good except from being counterproductive, borders on the ridiculous."

Ridiculous, yet true.

""Are the things Obama's doing with a lot of help going to fix anything? No."

I'm sorry, have you developed the gift of clairvoyance? If so, may I please have the winning lotto numbers?"

No I have applied sound economic theory which allows us to make accurate predictions.

http://bowtieobserver.blogspot.com/2009/01/why-fiscal-stimulus.html

http://bowtieobserver.blogspot.com/2009/01/cutting-paul-krugmans-hedge_10.html


""Obama is going to do the same things, it is the nature of government, except he is a religious left guy."

More clairvoyance?"

Nope, just prediction based on sound theory and history.

""Name one vote Obama ever cast in the Senate to defend civil liberties? See:
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/06/20/bipartisanship/index.html"

I'd rather look at the Congressional record."

Go ahead, I'm waiting.

"As far as his understanding our needs and caring about them--that is just drivel, I must say."

"No Greg. To YOU it's drivel. To a lot of people it's NOT drivel. You can say that those people are fools or are being duped, and that's your right. But that doesn't necessarily make it so anymore than does my asserting the converse. These are our opinions for which only the passing of time will prove one of use correct."

Still drivel.

"Me: Honestly, Greg, are you really this cynical, do you simply like to debate, or both?"

You: Are either or both faults?"

"Critical thinking, no. Unchecked cynicism? Perhaps not a fault, but it could be an area of blindness."


"Me: It's easy to sit on the sidelines and boo everyone, but what are YOU doing to improve things?"

"You: I'm writing my blog and teaching school."

And that's to be commended because at least you are engaged in the process. Do you write to your representative, do you protest?

Yes, I use the downsizedc.org to send letters all the time. I support pretty much all of their initiatives.



In looking at your comments for the time that you've been reading Hoserland, I have a sense about what your against, but not really of what you're for.

Aside from government leave me alone, what is it that you believe in? If you ran the zoo what would our country look like?

For starters, just follow the Constitution. Which isn't perfect but will do. It was pretty much destroyed by the New Deal.

http://bowtieobserver.blogspot.com/2009/01/blocking-bad-ideas.html

I advocate unfettered capitalism, with no apologies.

GD

1:53 PM  
Anonymous John Fracchia said...

"I advocate unfettered capitalism, with no apologies."

Unfettered capitalism without any regard for the human condition isn't libertarianism, it's nihilism.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everything you have you owe to Capitalism. Nihil means nothing in Latin. "Nothingism" would be a strange moniker for that which is responsible for the wealth around you.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/rockwell/love-capitalism.html


If fact it seems to fit your postmodern inference that truth is personal-- "your" truth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nihilism

I reject post-modernism here:

http://bowtieobserver.blogspot.com/2008/12/thus-ever-to-sociology.html

4:09 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home