Ming the Mechanic:
The Broken American

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 The Broken American2002-09-12 15:08
7 comments
pictureby Flemming Funch

Article by my friend Bruce Baumrucker about some things that it would be very appropriate for Americans to reflect on around the time of 9/11.



THE BROKEN AMERICAN
by Bruce Baumrucker
September 10, 2002

In the 1950's and 60's, older people in America felt proud of the society they had created for their children and grandchildren. They could let go of worry and live out their remaining years feeling they had fulfilled their contract with life and their lineage.

Now in 2002, I am 64 and not so proud of what America has become. The society I have allowed to come into being has institutions failing to look after our democracy, our civil society, the education of our youth, our once vibrant communities, the health and well-being of us all.

I feel ashamed of what our country has been doing in the world, making enemies who attack us, instead of friends with whom we work to make a better world. No longer can I rest assured that my children and their children will be all right in the world I am leaving them.

As I watch our society break apart, I am feeling sad, ashamed and sick at heart by what¹s happening and feel almost powerless to do anything really meaningful about it. Are you feeling any of this? Over the last year, have you felt betrayed by the lack of integrity in our government and corporate leaders and their inappropriate responses to deal with human problems and needs? I may be wrong, but I believe many of us are feeling uneasiness about the unprincipled activities that are going on.

It appears that our once great country is now being run by shortsighted, self-oriented people who have learned how to manipulate the systems of power to get what they want. They seem to be saying: ³Get, Take, Have, and to heck with those who are too weak or poor or dumb to get theirs. Too bad for the environment. Too bad for social fairness. We got ours, and we got it legally, because we know how to work the system. This is our right as an individual in a democracy, isn¹t it, where very individual takes and overall society gains?² Do any of you feel, as I do, that there is something wrong with this?

I can¹t see how, if every individual just takes and exploits, -how the overall society can benefit. I mean, why would an individual or business have any interest in considering the big picture, or their effects on people and the environment, when that just hinders their personal advancement and corporate profit in the time-blind practices of today? I¹m told corporate leaders get fired for expanding their time horizons or their social concerns and not concentrating on producing the profit their shareholders desire.

I hear the Television Newsperson asking the question: "Will there be economic consequences to us of a war with Iraq?"

I can't believe that we should not reflect on the fact that we're considering attacking a third world country and killing hundreds or maybe thousands of people there. Is this what I want us to do? No way! Is this what you want us to do? Is this something we, the American People, are to decide? Or is this perhaps something that has already been decided by the people now running our government, and they are just selling it to us?

Where is the moral dimension of our lives? What is going on with the people of America? Where is moral leadership, noble citizenship, the living spirit of America? Why is it that so many of us are suffering? Why are so many American youth emotionally lost and in pain. I am told we have the highest youth suicide rate in the world, how could this be? The elderly are suffering. Those with health problems are suffering. The Afghan people are suffering, and more now than before our national anti-terrorist actions. Where is the America I used to believe in?

I am disheartened by generally well-intentioned people who let themselves say words that are not their words; who do things which are not consistent with their higher values, but for which they excuse themselves and justify; and who support other people's actions which are in direct conflict with their own moral convictions, but which have benign names, like "preemptive strike" as our government leaders are now using against Iraq, instead of "unprovoked attack", which is how I see it.

Are we going to spy on each other and tell some Big Brother? Can the Corporate Police get us to report our neighbor? Can our TRUST in each other be so easily destroyed? Can our promises to ourselves and each other be so weak? Can the struggles and sacrifices which created this "land of the free and home of the brave" be so easily lost?

One hundred thirty-nine years ago, in 1863, Abraham Lincoln made his address at Gettysburg. Our country had been founded in liberty and dedicated to equality only eighty-seven years before this. In his speech, Lincoln referred to the civil war as a test of whether our nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, could long endure.

He said we should be dedicated to the unfinished work for which the brave, living and dead, have struggled and so nobly advanced. "...that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion --that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain --that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom --and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

I believe we have forgotten that America is a test, an experiment in self-governing. History has examples of "good tries" that didn¹t last. What I am concerned about is whether America will just be another good try that didn't last.

I have been told that it takes a great deal for natural forces to kill a tree. But once it begins to die, its cells lose their vitality, its sap stops flowing, its leaves die and fall off and new buds wither. I believe it takes even more to destroy a society, but once it begins to fall apart, every person in it feels its breakup. We may be witnessing this today in each of our lives, as we keep extra busy so we don¹t think too deeply about what is happening to our once great country. As we are preoccupied with surface matters, as we are short-tempered with others and ourselves, as we are feeling a sadness in our being that we don¹t want to acknowledge.

Where is our American Soul? Why aren't we now standing up and speaking out against these injustices? These wars against the poor, the minorities, the small farmers? Against Nature itself? Where are our programs to empower the poor, the minorities, the farmers? Where are the plans for the well-being of seven generations from now? Where are the actions to work in harmony with Nature and not exploit her? What can we do so our youth find more to admire in us than discard? What can we do to create again a society which empowers dreams, not destroys them?

To me, this doesn't mean that we restrict the freedoms of our citizens and put our people in fear of arrest without charges, without evidence, without respecting their human rights and without due process of law. This doesn't mean we beef up our police and military for use on our own people. This doesn't mean we use our power abroad to threaten, bully and beat-up on countries just because they have resources we want and we have the might to take them. This doesn't mean that we forcefully control peoples and nations because we fear that if we don¹t, we won¹t get all we need and deserve to maintain our privileges.

I feel we Americans need to trust in each other once again. We need to empower ourselves so we can compete in the world markets; so we can take care of our youth, sick and elderly; so our large and small businesses alike can provide useful and healthy products for our well-being today and for the well-being of our children, and our children¹s children.

I feel we need to be able to participate in our government without having to donate great sums of money to our representatives¹ election campaigns in order to get their attention and allegiance. I feel we need help in making our communities strong, self-reliant living units in a national and global reality where human beings belong and matter. Where the Statue of Liberty actually represents a national desire to honor and respect the people who come to our shores, not treat them with suspicion as unwanted aliens. Where we operate with respect for other people and other nations in the world. Where we believe in, support and abide by the international process of justice which the United Nations has created.

To those of you who know what I¹m talking about, shouldn't our priority be to heal our nation from its current sickness and recreate her so she is once again a model to the world of an America with capacity and caring, stability and change, compassion and cooperation?

I wonder what it will take to renew America? Where we will once again believe in ourselves and each other. Where we will believe that people working together can create healthy, meaningful lives, and generate opportunities and material wealth that more than meet the needs of everyone. Where all people and cultures are valued and enjoyed. Where we once again believe in dreams and possibilities and in the living power of love.


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7 comments

12 Sep 2002 @ 18:12 by martha : I wonder what it will take...
"I wonder what it will take to renew America?"
Ok I'll bite and answer the question.
Each person is responsible for the ground they stand on, the the air they breath and the energy they send. The renewal of America will only happen as each individual work on themselves to heal their wounds, bring forth their higher self and live in the moment. We can not heal a nation, the earth or the universe (now that's a tall order) without first tending our own garden of the soul. I know this sounds simplistic.
Once we have shifted the anger than love and goodwill comes forth. This is the energy to renew our freedom, and allow our souls to expand to their full potential.
Sorry if I sound a bit much. I was listening to "The Boss" as I wrote this. (Glory Days)  



12 Sep 2002 @ 20:27 by istvan : ?
If i belived there was souch country called America, I would say it is dead, long gone or newer existed. If you look in lists of counties. maps of countries you wont find a country with that name.
It only exists erroniously in the minds and imaginations of people amd perhaps only existed in the dreams of the pilgrims who were coming to a newly discovered continent called America. Do not worry about a country called America. The United States is just one country on this devided continent (of north and south).
Worry about the people of this beautiful nation the USofA. America was, is,and will be a dream of the most anbitious, who came to grab and exploiit this land's treasures and still doing it.Now they want more,they want the globe. They will loose it all.  



12 Sep 2002 @ 22:21 by vaxen : Soft weapons...
kill strong souls. The 'Boss?' When will people see themselves as the 'Boss?' Sheeple, I guess, will always be 'content' with a 'Boss!' I rather feel like zendancer that America died long ago and for me it died at its' inception. The Constitution was taken from the Algonquin/Iroquois and no one seems to know this. The Gettysberg Address? A work of fanciful fiction. As far as liberty and freedom are concerned? Only for the damned 'elite!' That has nothing to do with true liberty and freedom. A cursory examination of the U.S.A will show the tyrant for what it is...

Mind control via 'Star Wars' is a reality you may choose to ignore but if you want freedom I suggest you learn what your 'Corporate Controlled Leaders' have in store for you.

The war is not against Iraq it's against you, American, and has been for over 100 years...put the frog in cold water and slowly turn up the flame. Froggy gets cooked. Put the frog in boiling water and, if he can, he'll jump out! It may well be too late. "You have been assimilated!" "They live!"

[link]  



13 Sep 2002 @ 00:27 by vaxen : Addenda...
"If the people only understood the RANK INJUSTICE OF OUR MONEY AND BANKING SYSTEM there would be a revolution before morning."---Andrew Jackson 7th President of the United States.

I might add that, as an American, I never once swallowed the swill given me by the liars in wait, including parents and peers, educators and, so called, leaders. From the time I became aware that things were not what they were made to seem it has been an uphill fight.

Here is a site that adds fuel to the growing fire in the so called land of the free and home of the brave. Land of the hogwash and lies is more like it. But I have faith that things will change but not before the traitors are hung out in the wind for the Eagles that the buzzards might clean their bones dry...you've been lied to, America, from the day that you were born! Do'nt you think it's time to 'do' something about it?

[link]  



11 Nov 2003 @ 13:44 by BRUCE MACKENZIE @67.70.44.14 : THE BROKEN AMERICAN
I JUST STUMBLED ACROSS YOUR ESSAY ON YOUR VIEWS OF THE STATE OF AFFAIRS IN THE U.S.A. I AM 20 YEARS YOUNGER THAN YOU AND I WAS BORN AND RAISED IN CANADA, BUT I SHARE MANY OF THE SAME REALIZATIONS, DISAPPOINTMENTS AND DESIRE FOR A BETTER SOCIETY. MAYBE THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION "I wonder what it will take to renew America? " LIES IN THE FOLLOWING QUOTATION FROM DARRYL REANNEY, AN AUSTRALIAN SCIENTIST AND AUTHOR. REANNEY WROTE THAT " WE NEED TO BE ANIMATED BY SOME DEEP SENSE OF COMMON PURPOSE, OF SHARED MEANING."  


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