Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Behind the Veil

Thanks to the Wizard of Oz, thoughtful people learn to ask what factors are behind the events, ideas and pronouncements that hourly assault the airwaves, radio frequencies and web world. Let's go behind the veil and look at some current items:
  • "The Exception is the Rule" with Obamacare. We now know that their are more than 700 waivers for those opting out of a law that was supposed to transform our system, save money and offer better care. The biggest donors get their waivers, including major unions. What does this say to the rest of the working-class who will be penalized if they do not participate? We can do better.
  • Egypt is in turmoil. This police state of 80 million souls has been a melange of freedom and oppression, faithful ally of the US and cautious supporter of moderate Islam. Her treaty with Israel makes her a pariah to other Islamic nations, but she has not had to spill her blood in war since 1973. It is too soon to predict the outcome. I am hopeful that a secular state that allows Islamic culture to flourish can emerge and that persecution of the Christians (10-15% of the population) will abate. Underneath the polite rhetoric are Muslim Brotherhood members who see any democracy as a stepping stone to full Sharia law.
  • The dollar is dying because we devalue it every day that we add to our deficit. How did we go from the low-$100 billions to the $1 trillion mark in overspending? We cannot sustain a centrally-controlled warfare and welfare state. We must rein in spending, decentralize services and eliminate the special privileges for the political classes and some public employees. Behind the veil of stupidity are nefarious global economic forces content to watch our self-destruction and fearful of our leaders implementing sane policies.
  • Pagan revelry is alive and well in the media. The obsession with image and form and the explosion of mainstream pornography is just a higher-tech version of the self-destructive paganism that the Hebrew prophets warned about for a thousand years and the early Christians refused to submit to as they went joyfully to martyrdom. Without being prudes or restricting free expression, thoughtful people need to use the "off" switch and mobilize their economic influence and moral suasion to turn our culture toward attitudes and behaviors that celebrate our humanity instead of glorifying animalistic urges.
  • As I pen these words, a snowstorm is blanketing my city. I am grateful for clean water, central heat and food in the pantry. Millions around the world are longing for simple survival against cold and heat, disease and famine. Behind the veil of trillions in charity are economic and political powers who want to keep Majority World nations the serfs of global feudal lords. We need to provide emergency relief and empower people to become self-sustaining. If millions of American used some of their time and treasure to further cooperative efforts here and around the world, we can ensure a better global and local future, one community at a time.
The Wizard of Oz is not FDR. The books were written years before - sorry to disappoint certain conservatives. Nor is the Wizard a theocratic dictator. The Wizard is a symbol of all that operates just beyond our first glance. But when people of integrity pull back the veil, they suddenly eliminate fear and find themselves able to make a difference. Let's go out and create a new future, free from nostalgia and utopianism, but free to imagine and implement our deepest principles.

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