Saturday, October 30, 2010

The First Decade

The United States of America elected its first Black president. There, that sums up the only thing that could possibly pass for good news. We finally got that monkey off of our back. The bad news begins immediately with the requisite disclaimer that, in no way did I intend to suggest anything by the first three sentences, but am compelled nevertheless to disclaim it.

This is the legacy of the first decade of the new millennium.

We were supposed to be entering a new phase of human existence, a new enlightenment, if you will. It seems, however, that we have achieved nothing more than the destruction of reason and the abandonment of sanity. And it's not just here in the United States, it's world wide, but I will make the case from the perspective of an American simply because it's what I (used to) know best.

I realize that these types of reviews are usually reserved for New Year weekends, when major publications remind us of the events of the previous year or decade. I thought I'd get a jump, as nothing other than the pending mid-term elections here seems to offer any hope of real change between now and year-end. Besides, those other reviews tend to offer frivolous reminders like the passing of entertainers (or the imprisonment of others) and gripping headlines from professional sporting events. I will have none of that in my review.

What necessitated my need for a disclaimer at the outset of this article is probably the worst legacy of the new millennium. If I mention "monkey" and "Black" president in the same paragraph - no matter how innocuously -people automatically assume a slur. What's worse is that people like me are conditioned to be cognizant of this and offer such a disclaimer by rote memory. It's become ingrained in our psyches now.

Free speech means different things to different people in this brave new world, and there is a cadre of others who exist seemingly for nothing else but to monitor every spoken or written word. But the outrage is selective. Take as an example any perceived criticism of Muslims and the universal condemnation it receives. Yet no one bats an eye when Mahmoud Ahmedinejad repeatedly refers to Israelis as pigs, or swine, and threatens to annihilate them. A member of our own State Department sent a Twitter birthday greeting to the leader of Iran, for crying out loud.

In Honduras, President Manuel Zelaya tried to increase his power by subverting his own countries Constitution, and his Congress directed the military to remove him. That is exactly what would happen by our own laws in the states, yet our new president and his State Department all sided with Zelaya, demanding his immediate return to power.

Our federal government, charged with the duty to protect its citizens and sovereignty, sued a member state when it legally passed a state law designed to protect its borders and security from a foreign invasion. Not only did the Obama Administration sue Arizona, it was a co-plaintiff with the offending country along with nearly a dozen other foreign countries, all sympathetic to the offending country, Mexico.

Liberals have waged a continuous war on religion, falsely claiming a Constitutional separation of church and state, all the while claiming that there has been no such war. Despite numerous lawsuits demanding the removal of Christian symbols and edicts (Ten Commandments) from government property, they still insist that they merely represent the rule of law. But speak out against any reference to Islam, and they will attack you like a rabid pack of wolves. Ever wonder why?

Then we come to national security. There is a quote attributed to George Orwell that is in dispute. Some say Orwell wrote it, others can find no proof. No matter, the quote is true regardless of who uttered or wrote the words:
We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us.
The utter truth is undeniable, yet there are those who refuse to budge in their denigration of the military. Those rough men have throughout history been viewed as barbarians by social elites, even those in the Roman Senate. They are, however, the reason for our comfort and the very creation of our desires. They aren't born to be barbarians, they are purposely trained that way.

But in the new millennium, even though they receive the same training - with a few modifications - they are sent out to complete a mission but hamstrung once in the field. Their Rules of Engagement (ROE) are so prohibitive to the point that they are really being offered up as sacrificial lambs. They can be shot at and if the gunman immediately drops his weapon, they cannot return fire. That is the insanity of the new millennium.

Once it was considered the norm for such "rough men" to eliminate the enemy, including those who worked as clerks responsible for intelligence divulging. Today, the offender is not only safe from retribution, but bestowed with accolades. Case in point: Julian Assange, the Australian founder of WikiLeaks.

Assange is the man behind massive dumps of information that expose our military men and women to grave danger. Equally, the indigents whom our soldiers rely on for support have been exposed to the enemy, and risk death as a result of Mr. Assange's "work". So is Julian Assange now regarded as a public enemy, running from the law? No, he is busy having his face plastered all over the Internet and giving interviews, apparently hailed as some sort of visionary.

The irony lies in the fact that Geert Wilders, leader of the Netherlands' anti-Islam Freedom Party, is being prosecuted for "hate speech", while Ahmedinejad can speak as freely as he pleases about the death of all Jews, and Assange can indirectly kill decent people with impunity.

This new way of life, tragically, has already attained a sacrosanct status, and any assailant of it is immediately cast as an extremist or a heretic. The weight of reality has shifted away from the sane and now lies in the greedy grasp of the inmates. Attempts to reclaim it are successfully portrayed as the work of the dangerous - that would be Conservatives - and broadcast as nefarious works by a compliant media.

One must recall the very end of the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers. In the remake, Donald Sutherland's character, who had struggled in vain to fight the takeover, is himself assimilated, and points an incriminating finger at a non-conformist while emitting a horrendous squeal.

And as such, so begins the second decade of the 21st century. If you're over 50, take everything you have ever learned and experienced in your life and toss it on the ash heap. None of what you knew applies anymore. Welcome. Please remove your shoes and your brain before entering. We hope you enjoy your stay.

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