I really can’t blame Obama for wanting us to have all good things for nothing. I always wanted to have things simply fall into my lap. Unfortunately, this isn’t how life works. When bad times hit, far from seeing an outpouring of sympathy, I saw that the only road open was for me to shoulder great burdens and somehow, survive. If I had to haul heavy loads up deep snow mountainsides, I carried the loads. When violent storms blew, I had to be outside, wrestling with things despite the dangers.
President Obama went before Congress to do what all Presidents have done there since I became old enough to hear these speeches: promises of lots of money for every imaginable thing, promises of better health, better finances, better infrastructure, better military…ah, the standing ovations Presidents get when they talk about spending money on the military, in particular!
The spending on the military always bothers me the most. This is the definition of waste. Proof of this is painfully obvious: the US spends more than all the world together, on our military. Yet, the main applause line in any speech by a President with Congress gets the biggest applause when Presidents promise to make America ‘stronger’ via more spending in this sector. So tonight, Obama promised more military spending and got the desired mass applause.
At this point in time, the US is so accustomed to always increasing not only military spending, but the reach of our empire, the expectation will be, the masses will allow Congress to spend obscene funds on military projects. Today, I wrote a depressing story about how little news of the mayhem going on in Iraq or Afghanistan makes even the slightest news in the US. This is truly curious, considering how we talk all the time about spending money on the military, yet, news about actual fighting is virtually censored here.
So, Obama talked about how we are going to ‘build’ America. Now, I look around and aside from the lack of good train service and the lack of rational housing systems, this country is overbuilt, not under-built. Huge tracts of good farmland has been paved over and covered with oversized housing and shopping venues of dubious utility. Most of our major cities outside of a very few, such as NY City, San Francisco, etc, are virtually dead or in serious ruin. The center no longer holds as nooses made of multilane highways strangle these cities.
Many capitals of states are set in the middle of these wastelands, for example, one of the wealthiest states, New Jersey, has Trenton as its capital and this is also the poorest city in New Jersey.
This picture of the present Amtrak station in Detroit looks like a wasteland. The parking lots around it are overgrown with weeds. There is virtually no businesses anywhere near the station. It is not accessible to anything if one is on foot. Nearly all the train stations I picked at random to illustrate the ugly system we have look virtually the same: the main depot for Amtrak is more often than not, in a total wasteland. The only exceptions are Washington, DC, where the lovely station has been totally rehabilitated and NYC where the Amtrak station is an ugly troll-like cave.
Here is the St. Louis Amtrak station. It is a shed. There is nothing one can walk to from this site. Unlike all of the major train stations of the Victorian era that were in the center hubs of cities, the modern American system is mostly in isolated areas, ugly and friendless.
Obama talked a great deal about ‘rebuilding America.’ I have lived through endless years of this sort of ‘rebuilding’ and the net result has been the near-total destruction of the cities and the rapid expansion of ring communities that are very disconnected from the center of these hubs. Newark, New Jersey is the biggest city and it is a total wreck and after tremendous spending, can barely function as a city that is civilized. The lack of civility in our cities is an astonishing feature of the American empire.
We just spent nearly a trillion dollars, ‘rebuilding’ Iraq and have only a huge prison-like ’embassy’ to show for all this, the rest was frittered away by corruption. The US can’t afford to lose infinite sums, rebuilding messes created by our strange systems we have created. Obama talked a lot about using future tax money to upgrade buildings.
This supposedly was so we wouldn’t ‘waste energy’. Another fool’s errand. Our trade competitors don’t live in the sort of luxurious climate-controlled systems we grew used to in the last 50 years. This need to be constantly comfortable is a modern thing. It increased productivity somewhat but is a net loss for our nation since we grossly over-consume energy.
Putting up many alternative energy systems is a wonderful thing. But ONLY if we produce the energy systems we buy to install. This is where the rest of the world comes in: our trade rivals do not want us to build systems here, they want us to consume their imported systems. The Chinese and Japanese have been very intent on building solar energy factories, for example.
Obama talked very soothingly about our massive problems and what troubled me most was, how he loudly supported free trade. He disarmed all possible ways we could improve our basic industrial situation and made it clear to all the creditor nations who happen to be also the biggest export-profit centers, that we will do absolutely nothing to stop this. We will not protect ourselves. Period.
Congress, being corrupt and in the pay of foreign powers, applauded this declaration of war against American workers. Instead, Obama suggested that we ALL go back to school! WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? He had no suggestion, what we should learn and how this will improve things. Maybe I can be hired by a university to teach ‘The Cave of Wealth and Death: an operation manual’, or some such. Or maybe, ‘Free Trade Is Extremely Expensive’. Or, ‘Pride Comes Before The Fall of the G7’. Heh. How about, ‘Libra and Gold Go Together’? Anyway, they won’t hire me.
And I can’t get a degree in ‘Religion and Wealth’ courses because then, I would have to go after the Vatican or various cult religious leaders who live in luxury, tax free. I know that a course of ‘Gnomes, Sex and Money’ will be fully subscribed by the students. Especially if we hold the classes in a bar somewhere. Maybe I could start my own school and get money from the government? If they are going to hand it out like candy, I may as well get my paws on some of the loot.
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