Here's what I'm seeing right now. Consider that I have a pretty limited worldview, and I'm afraid that's intentional. Like so many others, we have to balance doing the task at hand against its success. My liberty is lessened. To get it back, I must do more than write; I must march, I must protest, and I must be a civil disobedient. I have to compare those actions against their chances of success. What better measure than finding those who are doing that now, which has less to lose by doing it than I do? There is effectively nobody. Nobody is addressing the problems of this country as a whole; therefore I refuse to give my blood in vain. A very sweet man said to me "I know you have concerns about this stuff, are an activist when it comes to freedoms, and, while I may not completely agree with you on everything, I do value your opinions and appreciate the fact that it is only people like you that are slowing this country's decline into fascism". It means a lot to me that my words are thought of so highly. Let me say thank you in advance to anyone who would concur with that statement. I told him that my bitching doesn't amount to crap. Then I was going to explain why, but I figured it was a good post. Every other day or so, I see something impossible. I see the bleeding of our rights as Americans. Little things here and there, sometimes they're subtle, but it just takes a little consideration before you can imagine the potential consequences of some gov't action against its people. What I really see is the foundations of liberty and freedom, for which this country was based; being subverted, outlawed, ignored, legislated around, rationalized against, and otherwise subjugated by politicians. I also see a war of propaganda seeking to confuse, alienate and divide the population into defined classes, polarizing them against one another, drawing the attention away from those who govern. When I stand back, I no longer see a landscape of equal rights, fair taxation, or thoughtful foreign policy; I see each of these as gears of the greater machine. In dividing and polarizing, they have hampered other's ability to organize, communicate and draw the obvious conclusions that will ultimately lead to the indentured servitude to the corporation. This became evident to me over the last few days, when I sat back in awe of how the religious right has been able to mobilize and direct precise and deadly attacks against companies and politicians alike. Under the banner of Christianity, a small band of leaders can effectively direct the ire or support of millions of people, and do so within hours of a target's designation. I have felt spread thin by everything that is happening. From every quarter the effects of this have been felt. Defense of Marriage Patriot Act War in Iraq Consumer Protection Healthcare Presidential Nominations Social Security Let me tell you why it is you see everything taking center stage right now. It used to be you'd see one, maybe two big items in the news which politicians were talking about or activists were rallying against. This allowed people who had concerns in different areas to speak out about it. Since everything is being thrown at us at once, the common person cannot divide their time between the issues. They might even subconsciously pick only one to throw their support behind, while the rest must go unnoticed. We are left to rely on career protestors to speak our minds for us. We throw money at them thinking that will help their efforts, yet they are rebuked. Even our legislators in Congress admit they don't have time to read every single bill. They are being manipulated and overwhelmed just like the people. We are so confused and overwhelmed by issues that we cannot see the larger picture. This is by design. It must be, because any thinking person would not allow themselves to be overwhelmed like this. We MUST give each and every topic the consideration it needs. Our society has become knee-jerk due to the culture of instant gratification and consumption. Again, this is by design. Why would our society be engineered away from taking things slowly, and enjoying life? We have so much in place economically and technologically that we could actually slow down our lives. The alternative is to get us into a rush so we will miss things, so we; won't take the time to see what we're signing, will accept a biased explanation without question, won't study who we vote for, and contemplate our direction as a society. I try and imagine what it will take to snap our confused and overwhelmed minds out of this trance. It takes such little effort to compare the facts we hear directly from these leaders and compare it to history, or merely consider a single consequence which wasn't explained to you by those who wish you to make the decision. Consider the oft-told story of the King who was slowly being poisoned by his most trusted advisor. This advisor would whisper about the King's enemies, that they are near, that they wish him harm, to take his throne, murder his children, all the while adding the drops of poison feeding the King's paranoia until he was merely the mouthpiece of the advisor. America is governed by it's people. The people are King in America, and our advisors are our Representatives. We are being slowly poisoned. We are dying, fearful and paranoid. In The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf cast out King Theoden's poison through magic. No magic is great enough to do the same to the people. It must be done once for every person. This task has become overwhelming, and soon it will be impossible to reverse the damage this poison has brought. I ask "What is it going to take?", and the answers never come. I ask "When will you rise up?", and there is silence. I say "Who will join me?", and the voices are loud, but when I swing wide the door, nobody steps through. They fear what lies beyond, as well they should, but in this darkness which we huddle together, there will never be peace. I believe my bitching doesn't amount to crap because the words are hollow. I readily admit I will not come out, bare all, and stand alone. Words alone don't give me credit. My lifestyle, my beliefs, my past, even my appearance go against nearly every standard by which someone is considered an authority or deserves to be heard and respected. Only within the ranks of a greater good would my efforts be appreciated and equally considered. I have yet to see that greater good. I have yet to see the group, party, or organization which understands the real problems with America and fully comprehends the task before us, the grave consequences of being too late, and the overwhelming bravery and sacrifice necessary to succeed.