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America, sweet land of liberty...

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posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 12:52 PM
...of thee I sing. Or so goes the refrain from a truly lovely song.

Oh, beautiful...

For as long as I can remember there has been a recurring refrain throughout American life...

Land of Opportunity...

Second Chances...

America is what you make of it...

All are true. I've seen far too many people who started with nothing but their work ethic, and sweat; who now have more than a little something...

A gentleman from Vietnam, who was chased out, along with his parents, just after the fall of Saigon. He owns his own cleaning service, and is now servicing contracts all over Eastern Washington.

A family from Guatemala. Arrived here with essentially the clothes on their backs, now own three taco wagons, and are, last I heard, going to open a couple more... They make a comfortable living in the Spokane Valley in Eastern Washington.

What do these two families have in common? With a dream, and hard work, they made the American Dream, an American reality.

Endless stories exist like these. I could site a virtually endless number in my own life of people who I know, who worked their asses off and got what they wanted...

So it would seem there is some truth to the Land of Opportunity legend, wouldn't it?

Is there a dark side to this dream?

Of course there is...

...It's damned hard to make that dream into a reality. The hoops that one needs to jump through are incredible in their degree of difficulty. ...and they shouldn't be.

This is where I get on my little ol' soapbox. Fair warning has been given

This year is maybe the most important election year the U.S., and by influence; the world has, to date, seen. There are hard choices to be made.

Not just the Oval Office, and the butt that will sit in that chair; but state houses, local city/county offices are up for grabs, too. ...and as always, contentious ballot initiatives are in play as well.

These things will effect our lives and world for many years to come.

I'm not going to tell you how to vote, or whom or what to vote for. Supposedly you're all adult enough to be able to figure that out for yourselves, and thus make your own choices.

Are you?

Given some of the rampant stupidity I've read on ATS gives me room to wonder. But I've still enough faith to believe that American's can still be trusted to make our own decisions...

An opportunity is before us...

America is still that land. This very website is proof of that... An opportunity was seen, and grabbed onto with both hands...and here it is, ever growing and evolving. A fine allegorical example, if ever there was one...

This is what is before us. An opportunity. An opportunity to shape, or reshape; our destiny as a country, and as citizens of that country... ...and even more importantly, for the generations that follow.

How will history judge us?

As a group that seized that opportunity and ran with it?


As a group that let it slip away because we didn't give enough of a damn to be bothered?

Which will it be? Which?

I know which group I want to be in when history judges me... How about you?

If you choose the latter? I'll pity you, 'cause no one else will. Don't bother me with the "reasons"...I've heard 'em all before.

You want change. You want the world to be a better place... It makes for great copy, and inspiring words on a computer screen.

But you aren't willing to put forth the sweat to foment that change... The hypocrisy must be self evident...

Have I made you angry? Pissed you off for calling you out concerning the moral cowardice as I see it?


Maybe...just maybe, you'll get off your apathetic butts and do something to help be the change y'all supposedly want to see happen.

Or not.

In which case, America is still what you make of it.

More's the pity.

edit on 8/25/2012 by seagull because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 01:04 PM
reply to post by seagull

If you can get on the ballot here. You'll get my vote!

And your point is dead on. Apathy and the idea that someone else will fix things is why we are all in this mess. But, hey... the truth is that most of us are barely hanging on. Work, kids, keeping afloat. These are real issues. Most of us are literally scared to death of what tomorrow will bring and we're frantically treading water to hold on to what we have.

And I sincerely believe that this is by design.

So... we come to a point where we have to get fed up enough to release our old fears in hopes to build something more. Can we do that? I truly don't know.

Now I have to go... they are replaying last seasons Survivor and I am compelled to watch that... I'll get to changing the world some other time.


posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 01:51 PM
reply to post by Hefficide

There are re-runs of Survivor? What channel??? I missed so much, I gotta catch it! Oh, yeah, there was an OP about something here too, huh?

Okay, Seriously, the OP hits home and if I may agree here, hits the mark. I didn't know how much until this season and, without bringing the politics of it in one tiny bit, the Paul campaign. Regardless of who I was supporting, it allowed me the chance to learn and participate in the Caucus system. For the first time in my adult life, I actually understand how this all works at the state level and beyond the 2 minute effort of punching a hole in a primary vote.

If I may add this for the thread, after learning the process in my own corner of the nation here, I've come to realize we can change things and it's entirely within our own power to do it. The endless suggestions of how it's all for nothing, pointless and too large or corrupt to ever change IS the game and keeps the numbers it requires to bring change from ever even attempting it.

posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 02:24 PM
reply to post by seagull

I believe there will be change in America. But I'm afraid it won't be in fostering "the land of opportunity"

I see evidence all around us of a coming police state, more control, less freedom of speech, much more surveillance, anti intellectualism, less opportunity for hard work and entrepreneurship, and ultimate fascism, with the corporation as the supreme controller.

I'm old enough to have witnessed this gradual progression into the coming dystopian future characterized by oppression, deprivation, environmental collapse, and dehumanization.

I used to be an optimist and think that reason, logic and mans good nature would prevail; but as I watch the
fragmentation of American society into tribal dogmas, I really question if America can live up to an image of "land of the free and home of the brave" for much longer.

I'm sorry but my time on ATS and being marginalized as a "people like you" has really helped shape my above cynicism.

However I do thank God that I was able to enjoy America and prosper before the cultural rift and make a lot of money in what used to be the "land of opportunity" Dylan said..."The times they are achangein"

edit on 25-8-2012 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 02:32 PM
reply to post by seagull

You know I feel the same way about my country. Good old Canada was once all the things that you describe and then some.

It still it, but it's been stained by a globalist agenda and its our job as citizens to mitigate and fight the effects of it and make our countrie's into what we know they can be.

Apathy is our greatest enemy and we breed it within our selves, with the help of a little well placed propaganda of course.

Needless to say, spot on OP and for those who are going to call it anything else but a failure of the electorate to stand up for what they believed in, as opposed to what those in power did, might have to eat your words.


posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 03:09 PM
Let Americans and the next generations be humans of whom they had always seek to be, in the land of opportunity, liberty and democracy for all unsullied.

AND not, a capstone in some forgotten dusty corner of the continent's land mass, found by future archeologists from another world, with words etched upon that almost hidden stone - ' We sought to be whom we desired to be, but ....we were only what we were......

posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 05:34 PM
What happens when you tell a blind person to see? A deaf person to hear? A mute person to say?

Sometimes, I struggle understanding the social inertia. And it took a long time to realize that understanding it does not bring satisfaction. We are a fractured people. Debating purpose and cause is like unraveling a Gordian knot.

Ultimately, I don't feel as you do; my inclination is to be concerned - and very focused on what "the message" is in nearly every publication that affects civic identity, notions of personal sovereignty, the interface between the governed and the governing. I can't help but infer bad intent.

People are apathetic you say?

I don't believe that to be a spontaneous cultural affectation... I believe such apathy is born of "conditioning." I am among the so-called conspiracy theorists who fully expect to be validated in future history. I believe it is possible to condition a population to be useful to objectives imposed upon them externally. I also believe that the system which many see as viable and functional .... was functional until relatively recent times.... when something changed in the nature of the relationship between the governed and the government.

We can change it. I don't think there is ever any doubt that we can change anything. They question is when and how; and the cost. I would ask you to envision such a time when a sufficient political influence could fundamentally make right that which is wrong.... who would you want making that change... certainly not the self-entitled club members who are in line to succeed those we have already?

Our problem is multidimensional - and I think the American population is dissuaded from including civic responsibility and engagement as part of who they are. Unfortunately most visions of America will rely on collective will... which is confined to the political duopoly to express. Our weakness is in the consolidation of political power and influence, by affluent 'persons' (corporate or otherwise.)

Oddly, and most in-congruently I still insist that participating in the political system is vital to an understanding of the 'entity' that are the United States of America. A wise person once told me that what best defines us - is what we do. So I reject civic apathy, despite any potential disaffection with my government. I think it's all about "believing" your government "hears" you. And the best way to deter knowing otherwise is to make it seem pointless to vote.

I applaud your zeal and sentiment. I think too many people don't realize how much it matters. They are made busy in myriad ways, and to some degree cannot see what they won't look for.

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 10:25 AM
reply to post by Hefficide

It is quite by design. The political class of our country want the citizens to be so apathetic that even if they do get involved in the process they do it by the easiest route possible.

Name recognition. Oh, he/she has been there in office, they obviously know what they're doing... Let's send them back. Then the citizen, self righteously sits back in his easy chair, fully satisfied that his civic duty has been accomplished.

Oh, huzzah...

This self righteously satisfied citizen has ignored, assuming he ever knew, the second part of that civic duty...

Oversight. Watching the actions of those we've, in our stupidity, allowed to believe that they are indeed, Gods on Earth...

The easy way, as should be obvious to anyone with eyes to see, and ears to hear, of assuming on faith that these people have our best interests at heart. ...and I suppose they do, as long as what they're doing suits the needs of our apathetically stupid voting public...

So, we've the uncaring idiots who can't be bothered to think about their vote. But they're only part of the problem...

The other part, or parts?

This stupidly blind, or is it blindly stupid, yellow dog partisanship. The Democrats are the bane of all existence... No it's the Republicans... What the hell ever. If some of you would take off your partisan blinders you'd see that both "sides" are equally to blame for the problems besetting our fair little world. But looking at the world without the blinders on would require too much work on your part, wouldn't it?

I can hear it everyday here... Obama is a saint. Obama is the devil. Romney is our only hope. Romney is the devil. Paul is God on Earth and will save us all. Paul is the devil.

No, to all of the above. We are the saints. We are the devil. These men and women are merely reflections of us.

Us. You. Me. Until such time as we bother to give a damn about something other than the latest reruns of "survivor" nothing will change.

We, as a whole, don't give a tinkers damn about the who's/what's of our elected leaders... Why should they give a damn what we think? We've given them no reason for concern... The American adult attention span is about equal to that of a typical two year old...with much less excuse.

The politician knows this, and expects this. Every few years they'll have a commercial or two on TV saying "I've been working for you in Washington...". We believe it, sucking it down like the pablum it is, and sending them off to Washington. Little knowing, or apparently caring that he or she is laughing at us...

Laughing. They'll occasionally throw us a bone, because they know they have to keep us moribund and apathetic...

So they'll trigger a "fight" with the other "side"... ...and off we go. Fighting amongst ourselves, again little realizing or caring that these same oh so concerned public official change their own opinion more often then they change their underwear...

So let's just continue to play their game, and by their rules. Fine. Do that. Just quit complaining about it when the chickens come home to roost, 'cause you've lost the right to complain, when you abrogated your duties as citizens. Involvement.

edit on 8/26/2012 by seagull because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 01:43 PM
reply to post by seagull

Miss America is drowning in sorrow over the lack of correct action.

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 01:56 PM
reply to post by seagull

I remember standing with my hand on my heart and my head full of dreams......... To bad they and I am not really sure who they are don't want hope and dreams.

The dream died with Mr. King and the Kennedy's. They made sure to spread the fear far and wide to crush any glimpse of a dream. We need men like this but they are few and far between.

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 02:09 PM

Originally posted by seagull

Us. You. Me. Until such time as we bother to give a damn about something other than the latest reruns of "survivor" nothing will change.

Personally, I do give a damn! I don't watch TV, I devote time, effort and money to supporting Local candidates that care about the welfare of their constituents. I personally have run for village counsel and lost. I'm involved in Christian charitable organizations helping feed, clothe, house the homeless; even though I'm not a Christian.
I donate time to animal shelters and go to our county Jails spreading the message of AA. I also make socially relevant documentaries and films.

Even though my earlier post reflected my absolute cynicism about the direction of America; don't take that as me being apathetic and not "giving a damn"

I have been blessed with economic bounty that the entrepreneurial spirit of America once provided. I am currently a Union dues paying, very liberal independent voter and I will fight fascism in all it's forms, however I prefer to pay it forward locally.

What are you doing?
edit on 26-8-2012 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 02:20 PM
We used to vote for the person that would best represent us.

Now we vote for the person that'll give us the most stuff.

Not sure when that happened. Speculate amongst yourselves. But that's where I see our sad state currently.

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 03:06 PM
reply to post by beezzer

Sadly I think all it took was near 50% of the population to get on benefits and then run nonstop vote drives in the neighborhoods those benefits are most strongly concentrated in.

Just add a lying Politician and you have "fundamental transformation", eh?

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 03:26 PM

Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
reply to post by beezzer

Sadly I think all it took was near 50% of the population to get on benefits and then run nonstop vote drives in the neighborhoods those benefits are most strongly concentrated in.

Just add a lying Politician and you have "fundamental transformation", eh?

Truth. Is there any pol out there that doesn't run that way though?

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 03:51 PM
reply to post by olaru12

Howdy. I was beginning to wonder if anyone was going to ask... Thank you!!

Just about the same things as you said. though I don't do the AA it would be hypocritical of me to discuss the evils of drink when I don't drink save very rarely.

I'm as involved as my world allows. I've participated in adult/child reading programs hosted by various local programs. Still do on my own. I tutor, though torture may be a bit closer to the truth, college kids in various things involving history and literature (and have a grand time at it, too...)

...and I'm very involved in politics at the local level. I may even run someday, though that's a bit more problematic.

So, I put my money where my big mouth is...both figuratively and literally.

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 03:55 PM
reply to post by SubTruth

The "dream" lives so long as people continue to work for it. To say anything else is to be readying the cop out defense.

Dr. King died for that dream. Some say Kennedy did, among 'em.

Many have died for that sort of dream, or other dreams for bettering the world around them.

To say we can't change it, is to render that sacrifice a straw death. Useless. Not a legacy I'd care to leave those that follow us.

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 03:58 PM
reply to post by beezzer

I disagree.

Politicians have always offered stuff during their campaigns. It has always been about getting stuff.

edit on 26-8-2012 by daskakik because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 03:58 PM
reply to post by beezzer

I think it began when a smart politician (not to be confused with good...) realized that he could be reelected for eternity if he made sure his constituency was kept happy. Hand outs.

Now that is what he's supposed to do, don't get me wrong. But he's also supposed to know where that line of "too much" is... ...and that's where the problem begins.

But there's two sides to that. Him for being willing to do this, and us, for not knowing, or caring, when to say "when".

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 04:49 PM
In the last three years I've watched a handful of Muslim refugees from the Sudan start a business on pennies and succeed.

The man who started the store worked double shifts driving taxi and put every penny into renting a location and starting an inventory. He passed it on to his brother who used his experience running a market in the Sudan to make it work. He still works nights driving taxi.

Their market is now very busy all day and their cars are changing from junkers purchased at auctions to new vehicles. All in three years, even with the language barrier and the municipality never missing a chance to send in an inspector to hit them with more and more regulations.

The dream is still alive and all it takes is the desire and a willingness to sacrifice now knowing the payoff is in the future. If this group of people can do this even facing the handicap of the bigotry directed towards them, imagine what others can accomplish.

I agree fully that the question is; do we want to be treated like adolescents by a Nanny State or do we want to be free to make our own path, with the government staying out of the way.

Too many are too willing to sit back and let others control them in exchange for not having to take responsibility for themselves.

Bravo Seagull

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 05:16 PM

Originally posted by seagull
reply to post by beezzer

I think it began when a smart politician (not to be confused with good...) realized that he could be reelected for eternity if he made sure his constituency was kept happy. Hand outs.

Now that is what he's supposed to do, don't get me wrong. But he's also supposed to know where that line of "too much" is... ...and that's where the problem begins.

But there's two sides to that. Him for being willing to do this, and us, for not knowing, or caring, when to say "when".

We are all stuck between A Brave New Word or 1984. Asked to choose and blamed for the choice.

To me Earth is a prison and it's governments the powerful group inmates while everyone gets their tat's and plays their role. Bunch of hog wash if you ask me.

Vote? Voice? Choice?........Please. That is not how a person carves out a life.

See Americans and Canadians even yourself OP don't see why the Vietnamese, Chinese, Guatemalans can come to America with nothing and make something. Family, that's the only thing that makes it, family.

If you don't have family to have your back you,r nothing. and even if you Make it alone what was it for?

Don't give me your bull about liberality, about any faith in any politicization, in this world full of lies and thieves. Americans need to piece together their broken, fractured families and then and only then will the world answer to them once again.

Heed my words readers for it is your only way out. After all a family is all you are looking for even if you have been hoodwinked into looking for one elsewhere but your own.

The Rat.

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