Monday, September 15, 2008

Tale of two America's:The One You Think You Know and The One You Are Desperately Avoiding

There is the practice of trying to discern the truth in all things that I know I practice and has been a recurrent theme in my life as it is a matter of my nature to do so. It is for the benefit of man and a component of his necessities that he cling to God for the same self evaluation of his own behavior. How else will he know if he is decieving himself with out the aid of the truth and the stability of the Other?

Pride and self-deception runs amok in the United States. When we look at the fiscial fiascos of Enron and World Com, Arther Anderson. When we look at Bear Sterns, Wachovia, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. When we look at the atom bomb, the subsequent American policy of mutually assured destruction. The nuclear non-proliferation treaty, to the current missle shield controversy which has set the Russians to saber rattling again with the prospect of a second cold war however improbable. All on the unfounded fears of Albert Einstien who prompted FDR to build the bomb in the first place. A tough decision which perhaps both men felt an uncontested obligation to make save ofcourse if they had a trust in God. There is still the reality of how much better off the world would be without nuclear weapons, actually only used in Nagasaki and Hiroshima and at the end of World War II. How much wiser we would be if we had never developed them now seems clear. There is the catastrophic failure on August 1, 2007 of the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge. Catastrophic failures often lead to cascading failures, the question is, 'Exactly what link on the chain of American ethical responsibilty does the collapse of this bridge reside'. It started with someone taking a bribe but where will it end? The child sex abuse scandal of the Catholic Church in America. The absurdity of homosexual marriages and the absurd denial until now of the future liabitly to our enviornment of simply dumping tons of carbon into the air from combustion engines and factories, year after year. What were we telling ourselves, that it was just all disappearing somewhere in the stratosphere? What were we doing mass producing both cars and lawyers? Cars are going to dump carbon into the atmosphere and lawyers need someone to sue in order to make a living. Where was our science, reason and rationale in these places? Where was our wisdom?

All of these epsidoes in American history have places where they could have been stopped had someone with character acted accordingly. The American Catholic Bishop who could have stopped the pedophile priest, not pass him on to another unsuspecting parish, why could this action not have been taken? A Federal Reserve that stand up to congress, A CIA that stands up to the President of the United States and an FDA that stands up to the pharmacutical companies that they are dependant on or fold all together to at least expose the fallacy that they have any power at all when it comes to the guarenting the safety of pharmacuticals.

Edwin Blacks 2004 book entitled "War on the Weak" explored an agency that did stand up. At the turn of the twentith century pockets of eugenist in America petitioned the United States Census Bureau to recategorize certain human beings then catorgorized in the 1880s by the US Census Bureau as "the defective, the dependent and the deliquent" . With the 'defectives' being the mentally ill, the elderly and infirm representing the 'dependent' and prisoners representing the 'deliquent'. The Eugenics Record Office in 1916 at this time headed by none other than Alexander Grahm Bell, was granted access to the Census Bureaus records and procedures when Harry Laughlin a ERA executive proposed to create a survey of those in state custodial and chariable care. He was given the title "special agent of the Bureau of the Census" for the purpose and wanted to recatagorize these people as 'socially inadequate'. 'Socially inadequate" people by Laughlins definition were those who "entail a drag upon those members of the community who have sufficient insight, initiative, competenc, physicl strength and social instincts to enable them to live effective lives..."

The Census Bureau to its credit refused to classify people in this way and albeit standing up to the then popular but non governmental agency of the Eugenics Record Office was no doubt a lot easier than what pressures the Federal Reserve, the CIA and the FDA have to face, it is still to their credit that they did not submit under pressure. For instance think of the creep between being a catagorized as a 'defective' to someone being catagorized as 'socially inadequate', i.e. unfit to live amongst society. What about in today's political climate where one can be classified as a criminal and go to prison or a 'military combatant' and go to Guantanmo or a hidden CIA prison in another country. There is currently the reclassifications of homosexuals as well adjusted oppossed to psychologically ill by the American Psychological Association or Pluto no longer being classified as a planet. Ones life and status and value can change according to a new principal of accounting.

It has to strike the reader of the potential creep between being classifed as 'socially inadequate' by the United States Census Bureau and the role of mass sterialization, which is what the Eugenics Record Office wanted to do, or mass termination, which is what the Nazi party in the early 1940's in fact did do, as the Germans took the American Eugenics program for themselves and took it a step further. However, the U.S. Census Bureau said no and that in it self was a significant act.

A Tale of Two Women

Most of us are familiar with the famous poem written by Emma Lazarus inscribed on the Statue of Liberty entitled "The New Colossus", "..."Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

However how many of us are familiar with the words of another famous woman, Margret Sanger, negative euginst and founder of Planned Parenthood abortion clinics.
"The emergency problem of segregation and sterilization must be faced immediately. Every feeble-minded girl or woman of the hereditary type, especially of the moron class, should be segregated during the reproductive period. Otherwise, she is almost certain to bear imbecile children, who in trun are just as certain to breed other defectives. The male defectives are no less dangerous. Segregation carried out for one or two generations would give us only partial control of the problem. Moreover, when we realize that each feeble-minded person is a potential source of an endless progeny of defect, we prefer the policy of immediate sterialization, of making sure that parenthood is absolutely prohibited to the feeble-minded."*

The first is written by a poet, the second by a social activist who founded Planned Parenthood. There is this reality, that when today we speak of 'birth-control' it was then regarded as a method of controling specific populations of people, controlling the people who in fact wanted to have children, through involuntarily sterilization. Margret Sanger proposals smacks eerily of concentration camps. It is a demand for control that human beings do not ordinarily have, it is the control of others when perhaps with a complete lack of 'self-control' and certainly with no control on those like Sanger from a God above. They renounce God and try to control life on earth themselves.

The notion that America is a great 'melting' pot is also not a part of actual American philosophy that term was coined by British playwright Israel Zangwill in the early twentith century.*

The America that many of us believes in is mostly fabled stories concocted by playwrights and poets. The actual American sentiment is found in people like Margert Sanger and Harry Laughlin not Emma Lazarus and Israel Zangwill.

Some of the things that we endevor upon to make 'this world a better place' are extremely negative and misguided. In our pride where we think that we are doing good in the world we are doing terrible mischief. We have to admit God first and foremost in our lives to prevent the ever recurring delusion that we are greater than all others or Him for that matter. Today we sit here and bask in the dew of foolishness with the looming possiblity that whole sections of the United States may eventually be uninhabitable due to torrential winds and flooding a result of global warming. We live with a credit crisis lead by the fiscially elite most of whom went to our best schools but with a 'say anything' policy that eventually leads to a $200 bilion dollar burden on the American tax payer even when we are told that there may not be any funding for social security. We have bridges that collapse because someone is not doing their job or taking a bribe, bridges to nowhere but again stemming from public funds and wars which are at best inconclusive not only as to how, when or 'if' they end with a debatable victory and no spoils of war but also exactly how and why they started in the first place,and with whom. Most Americans probably couldn't tell you in a sound bite why, five, six years after it started why we went to war with Iraq to anyone's satisfaction including their own. Blow back and surprises which baffle the day to day citizen seem to fall from behind a veil of intrigue of special intrests groups and self created organizations who march on coining a mission for themselves and think that they are serving mankind when in fact they are only serving their pride.