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    Posted December 1, 2012 by
    Rough & Ready, California
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Sound off

    A Baby Boomer Sings the Blues

    Just turned 65 here. Who in the U.S. doesn’t look around… and back… and forward when they hit that marker, eh? Got my Medicare card in the mail—it’s not valid yet—and Social Security payments are already in the works. Worked hard over the years for that $570 a month. Let’s see, minus $99 for Part B and $117 for Medigap insurance, of course. Still, I’m glad… since I‘m uninsured and have been for years and years. Now I can schedule that baseline colonoscopy they say you should have at 55. Oh, goody! I guess.

    Better yet, I won’t have to get my knickers in a knot because I’m forced to pay a “tax” for refusing to buy insurance from a private corporation just because my government says so. You know, that same private corporation who refused to insure me for 24 years because I had a tiny skin cancer removed from my nose. The same one whose primary goal is to insure a profit for its shareholders, not my health. IMHO (see? I’m hep!) there is definitely a problem with our health care system, but forcing citizens to buy an insurance plan from greed-driven companies isn’t the solution. Mmmm, I’ll probably be OK but I lament for America.

    And all this balderdash about how much we all want, how we all just “gotta have” this cheap crap from China? Nobody asked me and we’re not stupid. We know the difference between cheap and inexpensive—and lately, it’s not even inexpensive! Cheap, like what we’re getting from China now, is what poor Japan shipped over here right after WWII. Really poor quality. We bought their trinkets to help them get back on their feet. They paid us back a million times over because they have a code of honor. After a reboot, Japan gave us world-class electronics and cars that just run and run and run… not melamine in our pet food.

    The U.S. used to be nice to her enemies after defeating them in a righteous war. We did it for Europe, too, with the Marshall Plan. Remember that movie, “The Mouse That Roared”? But we’re not nice like that so much anymore because the motives for war are all screwed up now. Aren't they? It reads like some cheap, dime store novel. Revenge for Daddy’s insult, trick an honest man into deceiving us about the existence of WMDs, ‘make the world safe for democracy’ (a system which has to be chosen, not imposed)… war profiteering and sticking our nose in places it doesn't belong is what we do. Cultivating a market, cornering a market or turning a work force into a market is what we’re known for now. Greed. It seems to be our most enduring and insidious export. We certainly can’t point anymore with pride to our record on how to manage a republic. OMG, I lament for the ideal that was America.

    When we were kids, we played outside all day. Maybe checked in for lunch, scooted home when the street lights came on. Boy howdy, we scooted! No leeway on that one. But now? You have to worry if your “Neighborhood Watchman” is going to shoot you dead! In the ol’ days, we could claim we walked forty blocks through forty foot snowdrifts to school. And no upstart grandkid dare dispute you except maybe for the height of the snowdrifts. But now? Whose kid walks to school? Even four blocks? It’s not safe anymore. People with unnatural appetites whose predilections are fanned from smoldering ember to flaming conflagration by “freedom of speech” art as exercised in movie, song, book and T.V. storyline are prowling the streets. As in most unhealthy relationships, the knife the antagonist uses to stab us is one we fashioned ourselves.

    In the good ol’ days, the world saw the ideal embodied in “Freedom of Speech” as art, not this stuff. We arrogantly deride cultures thousands of years older than our own, we who are an amalgam of cultures (all of whom should learn to speak English after arriving so we have at least ONE thing in common and the ability to communicate about the things we don’t); then, without so much as a blink, we offer up “reality” shows and violent video games as evidence of our superiority. Ohhh, America, it wasn't supposed to be this way!

    Not only are we feeding our minds garbage, interspersed with unrelenting messages to consume more garbage, and more goods, and more, more, more… we are encouraged to eat in the same manner. Don’t get me started on Big Grocery feeding us pig food (corn by-products) half of our lives to give us heart disease and diabetes so Big Pharma (owned by the same people) can “help” us out later on. Which apparently is happening sooner and sooner now, even in our youth. Ah! I lament!

    And what self-respecting Baby Boomer hasn't thought about the immigration issue? Especially if he lives in what are called border states, which I do. For me, it’s really quite black and white. Illegal means just that. A law is broken. “Undocumented” is a stupid cover-up term for “You don’t got the papers necessary to be here and that’s against the law, but we don’t care because here the law looks the other way while you work for peanuts like our old Chinese coolies used to do. Don’t worry, taxpayers will pick up the costs of your kids.” (Oops! Have I stumbled upon a motive for melamine madness? What’s a hundred years on a timeline measured in centuries of enduring endless arrogant insults by Western powers? To a culture whose age is measured in millennia? But forgive me, I digress.)

    It dawned on me this morning that the illegal alien “Dreamers” have it right. The other day, I opined that they should be deported along with their parents and pissed at them, not us, for putting them in their current predicament. It used to be that our immigrants, just like our citizens, knew they had to WORK to “get the dream.” But somehow we created a society based on entitlement instead of “time or skill for hire.” If you’re not already wealthy or healthy or educated (by hook or by crook—don’t get me started), then you’re certainly entitled to be, whether you earned it yourself or not. It’s not a dream anymore. You CAN get what you want without working. You simply take it from those who do! Ask Wall Street, ask Big Corp, ask Too Big Bank, and don’t forget to ask the welfare mother with 14 kids by nine different fathers how that formula works for her. With lawless impunity and zero repercussions, it IS business as usual. Whoa and woe, America!

    The elders who remember goodness, integrity, temperance, cooperation, fidelity, family, honor—both personal and national, in our homes, on our streets, in our banks and halls of government—are aging unto death. Some die with a lament and a warning on their lips, “We worked hard for your success, O dwellers of America! While some of us yet live, imbibe or reignite these qualities and dare to live up to your nation’s promise!”

    Yeah, I second that. Before it’s too late, because it doesn't matter if we erroneously believe otherwise, there ARE consequences to be enjoyed and suffered, individually and nationally, for choices made. The truth goes on being true whether we like it or not, even whether we believe it or not.
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