Sunday, June 29, 2008

Prepping for The Fourth!

The disparity in the U.S.'s wealth distribution grows more and more blatant weekly as the middle class shrinks and the ranks of the underclass bloats with more and more hunger and impoverishment.

America has to be a place of great joy but growing angst for those sitting atop the heap of the population beneath them.

Never before have the rich had it so good, yet that's becoming more and more obvious to those who've never had it so bad. And that expanding emotional stress has to be unsettling to Bush's favorite people, the "haves" and "have mores." I expect these conflicting feelings will propagate as economic conditions worsen in the months ahead.

As example of things I've been reading, this next winter when the reality of the cost to those heating their homes with oil is more than they can afford, it won't take much for them to realize the economy of electric space heaters instead. And with that rush to replace heating oil with electric heaters as their source of warmth, the power grid will collapse, unable to supply the demands placed upon it. (Dada hopes the number who freeze to death while the wealthy party isn't too great.)

And should the U.S. (foolishly) decide to initiate a third war, this one against Iran, in addition to the other two it currently enjoys and is losing, the soaring cost of oil could result in the stranding/decommissioning of millions of trucks and autos in the U.S. due to the prohibitive cost of fuel or, worse, its complete unavailability. (We're already seeing small independent truckers go under; major airlines gasping for air(space) to breathe.)

Did anyone else see today's CBS "Sunday Morning's" segment about The Mall in our nation's capital? Chip Reid who provided the report asked, "The National Mall, where heroes are honored, protests are waged, our independence celebrated, has stood as a source of pride for some 40 years. But today, look more closely and you’ll see a National Mall that’s a monument to neglect. Can the mall be saved?"

Dada asks, "Should it be saved?"

Images that followed were startling. A lack of adequate restroom facilities, other than two porta-potties, unless you catch a museum open and pass the metal detectors inspection before junior wets his pants, i.e., should it happen to be the museum's open hours.

And then there were the pictures of reflecting ponds filled with non-reflecting algae, one with a dead rotting fish floating on its surface. An uninviting bench overgrown with weeds. Barren earth where there once was grass.

Or a movie production company having to plant 100 feet of grass atop bare earth and weeds and then "cutting and pasting" their grass with a computer to cover the rest of the Mall its entire length for their film.

Then there were the images of the sidewalk around the Jefferson Monument which has sunk 6" toward the pond aside it in the past year! Let's face it,The Mall is in decay just as the nation is too.

Meanwhile, as our congress debates whether to allocate the funds they don't have to repair and upgrade The Mall, estimated at $500 million, some are suggesting private citizens donate to fix it (taxes are for bombs!).

Dada opposes restoration of The Mall to its glory days until the nation's reputation is restored by upgrading and building needed schools, revamping infrastructure (estimated at $1.5 trillion [!], excluding additional infrastructure needed), providing for social programs that include a total revision of our health care system that currently places us 37th among the First World nations on the planet. Oh,yes, and getting our asses out of the faces of people in places where we don't belong!

I can't imagine anything better than a delapitated, under-staffed, under-maintained and decaying Mall as excellent metaphor for the state of the union. Let all Americans who come to Washington to show their children our glorious history in the museums and monuments around that mall, along with all foreign tourists, many who already recognize what is happening to the U.S., see the effects upon a dying, over-extended empire.

As they danced atop a crumbling wall of Communism in Berlin at the end of the Reagan 80's, let them come, see, and mourn the collapse of imperialistic capitalism, now on its own bed of death!


D.K. Raed said...

You know how people who live in northern climes stop watering their lawns in the fall because they know winter is coming & the lawn will be dying anyway, so why bother trying get a few more weeks of green? That's my theory about why our nation's infrastructure is rotting (including The Mall).

I missed the Sunday show you mentioned, but did see Blitzer blabbing about Seymour Hersh saying the Iran Invasion is already underway. What a tease Blitzer is. I think you can read Hersh's article in this week's New Yorker.

Fran said...

Let the mall rot- until health care, education & other priority needs are met. As you pointed out, it is the visual reality of the State of the Union- Shambles!

P.S. Requesting permission to use the Human Statue photo you took.

dada said...

Hi DK - WB! Your absence was noted. More to follow soon.

fran: Permission granted! (I'd intended to send a couple others of this group, but the one you have is the best I think.)

eProf2 said...

We watch CBS Sunday Morning religiously each week. So, we saw the segment you were talking about. I had a slightly different take on the segment because my Uncle was the National Park Department head for the District of Columbia during the 1950's and 1960's. The Mall, but especially the arboretum, was his pride and joy. He must be turning over in his grave had he been able to see the disrepair and lack of maintenance on the Mall.

I agree with you, however, that the decaying Mall is a symbol of our governmental total decay as we focus more and more on wars and less and less on domestic concerns for education, energy policies, poverty, and on and on.

We are in a mess, and I don't see anything on the horizon to change it any time soon. Unfortunately!

Utah Savage said...

I think this is an award winning piece. This is Dada at his best. Great writing, clear and whip-smart thinking. Stick with your political pieces; they are brilliant. If I had an award to give, I give it to you just for this piece alone.

dada said...

eprof: Today's worsening conditions at a seemingly exponentially increasing slide down the slippery slope (towards what?) makes me wonder if the Maya really knew something we don't with that calendar they had that ends in 2012.

Utah: Oh, wow! Your words are too kind. Thank you! You know, after posting this one, over night I pondered deleting it. But as the next day moved along and your comment came in I changed my mind. (grin) TY!

Border Explorer said...

I'm coming along late on this one. I certainly agree that I don't want the Mall fixed up. I've long abhorred governments that spend a caboodle on their leaders' homes/offices/fringe bennies and their own aggrandizement while leaving their people bereft. I feel the same way about religious leaders building grand churches. It misses the point. I learned the party line: "We give our best to God." But funny how God gets blurred into the church in that line of logic, and the cleric gets to reap the rewards.