"The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true, given the source, right?
The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed, and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the President. In essence, 2/3's of the citizenry just ain't happy and want a change.
So being the knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, ''What are we so unhappy about?'' Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter?
Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job?
Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time, and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?
Maybe it is the ability to drive from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state?
Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter?
I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough.
Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all, and even send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.
Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home. You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames thus saving you, your family and your belongings.
Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes, an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss.
This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90 percent of teenagers own cell phones and computers.
How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world? Maybe that is what has 67 percent of you folks unhappy.
Fact is we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S., yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have, and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.
I know, I know. What about the President who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The President who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same President who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11
The President that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled ungrateful brats safe from terrorist attacks?
The Commander-In Chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me? Did you hear how bad the President is on the news or talk show? Did this news affect you so much, make you so unhappy you couldn't take a look around for yourself and see all the good things and be glad?
Think about it...are you upset at the President because he actually caused you personal pain OR is it because the "Media" told you he was failing to kiss your sorry ungrateful behind every day. Make no mistake about it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases may have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn't have to go.
They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ''general'' discharge, an ''other than honorable'' discharge or, worst case scenario, a ''dishonorable'' discharge after a few days in the brig.
So why then the flat-out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans? Say what you want, but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds, it leads; and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells, and when criticized, try to defend their actions by "justifying" them in one way or another. Just ask why they tried to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a book about "how he didn't kill his wife, but if he did he would have done it this way"...Insane! Stop buying the negativism you are fed everyday by the media. Shut off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as a country. There is exponentially more good than bad. We are among the most blessed people on Earth, and should thank God several times a day or at least be thankful and appreciative. "With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, "Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?"
........[end 'Leno' email]
........[beginning of MY response to all that...and the commentary that drove me to re-enter activity in this blog]
Truth be told -
Initially I thought you sent the Leno thing as a joke, but because it was sent in response to the Obama articles I decided to take it seriously.
The "Jay Leno" message is cataloged on snopes.com, an Urban Legends website. I googled "Jay Leno knuckle dragger (a label the author used)" and the first thing to pop up was: www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/hitnail.asp
The point is those are not Jay Leno's words.
However, if you agree with everything in that message then it doesn't matter who wrote it. Assuming you agree with the message, I will respond.
Did you read the Obama email all the way through? I read the Leno reply you sent a few times so that I could be fair. There are many debates I could enter from all the points that were made, but I decided to focus on just a couple. I'm responding from my original assumption that a) he wrote all of it and b) you agree with all of it.
He made some valid points which could be made about any 'developed' country. He reminded me that I have resources, rights and freedoms that people in underdeveloped countries do not have. Though I have never supported war as a means to peace (it is counterintuitive, yo), I have worked hard to support the soldiers who volunteer for a mission they originally felt was worthy of their strength and skills. Leno does not take into account the high numbers of soldiers who are returning, completely disillusioned because of what they learned about the 'truth' of our history in the middle east...and, as a bonus, they start living the post-war nightmare of PTSD, endless recovery, and their own VA (translation: the US Government) cannot support their rehab on a timely basis because of the 'red tape'. WHAT?
Oh, right, and then there is the assumption that our Pres has *anything* to do with our country not being attacked by terrorists. While I would love to believe this, it is a false sense of security rooted in arrogance. There is supporting info below (if you feel like making time).
Consider that Leno is speaking from a platform high above middle and lower class America. I say that because he made many assumptions about what American Life looks like that just are no longer true for many people I know - people who have been struggling to pay for electric, heat, a/c, food, and water. And the water that flows so 'freely' from their faucets actually leads to more than one form of cancer and viruses that may actually be connected to fibromyalgia among other disorders.
The overall message I got, however, was that he is advocating silence - stop your whining. This from a man whose wealth comes from being able to use his voice. That, alone, makes his message deeply hypocritical. To say nothing about what NBC will pay him to say.
Let's ignore the fact that developed countries like ours have come so far because they have more financial wealth than underdeveloped countries (it takes a whole different conversation to dive into HOW we became so wealthy - not a pretty picture at all).
Many underdeveloped countries are dependent upon foreign aid, in part, because their infrastructures were originally weakened by outside forces...like, hmm, who d'ya think? No, not ONLY us, but every other developed nation.
I'm not going to say much about his 'recession' comment. Don't need to if you have been paying attention to the market.
Leno, himself, is of the Elite wealthy in this country. If he's so concerned about the state of the store shelves in Darfur maybe he should be doing more about it...instead of buying more cars and motorcycles and spending the cash it takes to maintain the storage facility to keep them shiny (read article linked below).
Leno has made at least $1 Billion for NBC and owns "...somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 cars and 80 motorcycles. He also owns a fire truck...Leno's collection occupies three football-field size warehouses..." I wonder if he owns a flat screen (is it possible he owns more than one?)?
For the record, I used to vote for Democrats and am officially as disappointed in them as I have always been in Republicans. I have now joined the legions of undecided and disillusioned. I do not currently like McCain, and it makes me sad as a woman to say I do not like Clinton. I do like Obama so far. There were other, far more promising candidates and none of them would ever make it because they couldn't make the - there it is again - MONEY.
[Nader is actually making the most sense right now - I will be posting about him from now on, as well. - This thought added at the time of this post]
So I am left trying to ignore the smear emails from friends and family and trying really hard, instead, to spend my online time researching the truth. Truth that is NOT on the news because the 'parent company' (has a nice tone, doesn't it?) can't get advertisers to pay to support it.
We're very lucky that our government does not YET have absolute control over our internet content. It is up to the audience (you and I) to decide we are worthy of a better education than what comes so easily right now. We are being spoon fed. Does that activity sound familiar?
Here are a couple of websites that, if you are willing to consider questioning the status quo, really want to BE an American, will be educational. If you are a dedicated moderate or conservative and have already written me off as 'liberal' (if by 'liberal' you mean 'educated', then I accept the label) then, by all means, ignore this.
This next one - video - takes some time and is all analysis of what happened September 11. It is *really* interesting and *really* sad. If you are willing to be open minded (i.e. the last few decades - leadership of BOTH parties - the U.S. government has not been working toward its citizens' best interests), then you will get a lot out of it.
Thank you for sending the "Leno" message. It's helped me get my ducks in a row...telling me to stop complaining and be grateful for all I have has compelled me to speak up.