Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Freedom?

The times we live in are not calm and settled.  Our government is proving time and again that agreements are not easy to come by.  Elected officials on both sides of the aisle forgetting that their most important job is the service of the people.

In this post 9/11 world we live in, things are just different.  We know now that we are vulnerable to attack on our own soil.  We've fought a few wars that may or may not have had anything to do with those attacks since.  We've spent billions, if not trillions of dollars on the idea that we can defend ourselves and keep the peace in the rest of the world.  Thousands of our men and women have been sent off to combat zones, never to return home again.

We live in a world where a man spends 13 years in jail for stealing a loaf of bread, but those who set up huge fraud schemes and steal millions sometimes walk free.  We live in a world where money and influence govern our nation, not fairness and good judgment.

We live in a country where the wealth has become increasingly concentrated in the hands of the few, at  expense of the many.  The gap between the haves and the have nots widening.  People have been unemployed for months, if not years.  Many of those employed have seen their salaries stagnate while the cost of everything went up.  Do more with less, the theme of all the downsizing companies.  Put more on the shoulders of those still with jobs.

All the while, the pay for high ranking corporate officials hasn't taken a hit.  There was never a requirement of a cap on salaries and bonuses for all the bailed out companies.  Go ahead, take home your multi-million dollar bonuses and ask the American people to save your ass.  Sure.

We'll bail you out, then sit idly by as the government that just shelled out all that money decides to cut spending on education.  Right.

Trouble is, people are mad as hell and don't want to take it anymore.

All across the country, people have been staging protests.  And no, not everyone involved in these protests are left wing extremists.

Some have involved clashes with the authorities where the protesters actually initiated the conflict, but the vast majority of them have been non-violent.  Cities have enacted new laws to keep people from gathering in public spaces.  Riot police have been called, hauling off those who sat and refused to leave.  College students have been sprayed with pepper spray for no good reason at all.

I don't know about you, but that last one really makes me angry.

In this country, we are all guaranteed freedom of speech, the freedom of assembly.  We are guaranteed the right to speak up about the injustices in our government.  These are our rights as citizens of this nation.

In the words of our forefathers, the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Our forefathers would be disappointed.

1 comment:

  1. So well written! The state this country is in makes me sad, and the fact that so many people are speaking out, but being disrespected or abused for doing so, speaks volumes about our government and corporations. Sigh.

    ReplyDelete

Some of My Most Popular Posts